Malaysia to be placed under another nationwide MCO from May 12: PM Muhyiddin

Malaysia to be placed under another nationwide MCO from May 12: PM Muhyiddin

Lockdown to prevent COVID-19 spread, in Petaling Jaya
A police officer checks the documents of a driver at a roadblock in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia on May 10, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Lim Huey Teng)

KUALA LUMPUR: The whole of Malaysia will again be placed under a movement control order (MCO), said Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, amid a third wave of COVID-19 cases. 

House visits and grave visits during the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations later this week are among the activities banned, according to his statement on Monday (May 10). 

Mr Muhyiddin said the government has decided to take stricter steps to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the community and to prevent cases from rising sharply. 

"Data and science continued to show that assembly activities that made social distancing difficult and the presence of people in congested spaces are major causes of COVID-19 transmission. 

READ: Compulsory 14-day quarantine for PCA travellers entering Malaysia from Singapore

"The infection chain of COVID-19 can only be broken by encouraging the people to stay at home through strict movement controls," he said.

Under the MCO, all forms of social gatherings including weddings and banquets are prohibited. All educational institutions are closed, while childcare centres are allowed to operate based on standard operating procedures. 

Dine-in at restaurants will not be allowed. One car can only carry three people, including the driver. 

Aidilfitri prayers are allowed with a cap of 50 people for mosques and surau with capacity exceeding 1,000, the prime minister said. A cap of 20 people applies for those with lower capacity.

READ: Prayers, visiting allowed in Malaysia during Hari Raya but restrictions will apply: Ismail Sabri

Employers are compelled to implement the work-from-home policy, with no more than 30 per cent of management staff present in the office at any one time.

The ban on cross-district and interstate travel as well as social, sports and educational activities will take effect from Monday until Jun 6. 

Other prohibitions will take effect from May 12 to Jun 7. 

"All economic sectors are allowed to operate during the period," Mr Muhyiddin said.

FACE THIRD WAVE WITH DISCIPLINE: MUHYIDDIN

Malaysia is currently battling a third wave of COVID-19 infections. Monday's 3,807 new COVID-19 cases brings the national tally to 444,484, with 1,700 deaths. 

A nationwide lockdown was first introduced in March last year, bringing the economic activities to a grinding halt. A daily loss of RM2.4 billion (US$585 million) was estimated.

The lockdown was gradually eased and almost all economic sectors were allowed to resume, with localised measures implemented in areas with a spike in cases. 

READ: AstraZeneca removed from Malaysia's mainstream COVID-19 immunisation programme due to public concerns: Khairy

Earlier this year, all states in the country, except for Sarawak, were placed under MCO again as the country consistently reported four-digit daily increases in COVID-19 cases. 

Last week, a lockdown dubbed MCO 3.0 was imposed on a list of sub-districts and districts throughout the country, including six in Selangor and Johor Bahru, Kulai and Kota Tinggi in Johor.   

On Monday, Mr Muhyiddin urged all to face the third wave with discipline and stay at home unless necessary. 

READ: Malaysia reports first case of Indian COVID-19 variant

"We have successfully flattened the COVID-19 infection curve in the first and second wave of the pandemic. 

"I would like to remind (all) that the third wave we are currently facing is more violent and critical. We have yet to win," he said. 

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Source: CNA/aw

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