Malaysia's COVID-19 lockdown to be extended: PM Muhyiddin

Malaysia's COVID-19 lockdown to be extended: PM Muhyiddin

People wait to receive COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Kuala Lumpur
People wait to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, May 31, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Lim Huey Teng)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will extend a national lockdown beyond Monday (Jun 28) to curb the spread of COVID-19, state news agency Bernama reported on Sunday, citing Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Lockdown measures were set to end on Monday. But Muhyiddin said they will not be eased until daily cases fell below 4,000, Bernama said.

Senior Minister for Defence Ismail Sabri Yaakob also said that Phase 1 of the movement control order will be maintained until the three key threshold value indicators are achieved.

The indicators are that the number of daily COVID-19 cases drop to below 4,000, the rate of bed usage in intensive care units is at a moderate level and that 10 per cent of the population has received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

"Based on the risk evaluation carried out by the Ministry of Health, the government will maintain the Phase 1 period nationwide," said Ismail Sabri in a statement. 

"This takes into account the current situation, which has yet to successfully transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2, where the graph on daily COVID-19 positive cases shows a horizontal trend," he added.

The minister also said that restaurants could operate from 6am to 10pm starting Monday. Currently restaurants are only allowed to operate from 8am to 8pm.

He said the decision was made after taking into account the appeals from and the views of food outlet operators.

Malaysia reported 5,803 cases on Saturday.

In May, a nationwide movement control order (MCO) was re-imposed in Malaysia amid a third wave of COVID-19 cases. 

Known as MCO 3.0, all economic sectors were allowed to operate during the period but cross-district and interstate travel as well as social, sports and educational activities were prohibited.

Stricter restrictions on the economic and social sectors were later announced on May 21 as community cases continued to rise.

On Jun 11, Ismail Sabri announced in a statement that the MCO, which was then due to end on Jun 14, would be extended to Jun 28.  

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Source: Reuters

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