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Malaysia Extends Movement Control Orders Again

Ismail Sabri makes the announcement | Image Credit: The Star
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It’s understandable if you are starting to feel that you’re stuck in a Groundhog Day-like time loop.

Malaysian Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced on Monday, April 12 that Movement Control Orders (MCOs) would be extended across the country, Bernama reported.

The states of Johor, Kelantan, Penang, and Selangor, as well as Kuala Lumpur, will all remain under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) from April 15 to 28, while Sarawak will remain under the CMCO from April 13 to 26.

The states of Kedah (except in Kuala Muda), Melaka, Negeri Sembilan (except in Seremban), Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Sabah, and Terengganu as well as Labuan and Putrajaya, meanwhile, will see the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) extended from April 15 to 28.

Interstate travel remains prohibited, just as before.

The latest extension admittedly didn’t come as a huge shock, as new daily cases remain stubbornly above 1,000 – sometimes well above. By contrast, during the first hard lockdown, last March through May, new cases never exceeded 300 daily.

On that note, Ismail Sabri said that data from the Ministry of Health showed that Malaysia could possibly face a fourth wave of the pandemic, judging by the fact that the daily infectivity rate (R0, or R-naught) on Sunday rose to over 1.0.

He urged the public to comply with standard operating procedures (SOPs), especially since Ramadan bazaars and Tarawih prayers will be allowed during the fasting month.

“The rate of Covid-19 infectivity, according to yesterday’s daily [cases] nationwide, rose to 1.06,” he said. “We must all comply with the SOP, more so since there are a lot of activities during the Ramadan month, such as the Ramadan bazaars, breaking of fast, and Tarawih prayers.”

Ismail Sabri explained that state governments could also tighten their own SOPs beyond those set by the federal government if necessary to help them control any localised outbreaks.

Covid-19 is proving to be an especially tenacious and troublesome virus, and it seems we are still not close to being out of the woods yet.

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