In his latest speech that was just televised moments ago today (25th March 2020), the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Muhyiddin bin Haji Muhammad Yassin, has confirmed that the current Movement Control Order, which had been enforced since 18th March 2020, will be extended for another two weeks and end tentatively on 14th April 2020 instead of 1st April 2020.
During his speech, the Prime Minister noted that cases of Covid-19 in Malaysia have risen by a considerable amount since the beginning of the outbreak in Malaysia, with over 172 new cases reported today, bringing the national total to 1,796 cases. The death count in Malaysia has also risen to 17 people as of today (25th March 2020).
Based upon estimations made by the Malaysian National Security Council, the Prime Minister has also warned Malaysians that the cases of Covid-19 will only continue to rise if nothing is done.
“The numbers can rise by many times more, as seen in other countries. However, with movement control efforts, we have managed to mitigate the situation to some measure.
But we should not be complacent with the steps we have taken now, not until we can safely say we have reported no new cases.” he adds.
In addition, the Ministry of Health has also prepared over 3,585 beds in 34 hospitals throughout the entire nation to receive the spike of Covid-19 patients when it occurs. At this moment in time, 34% of available beds in hospitals nationwide have been used, with a remaining 66% capacity still available to take in new patients. Mass testing will also be conducted in heavily affected areas hit by Covid-19.
It is expected that the Prime Minister will announce a more comprehensive economic package with the Ministry of Finance to help lighten the burden imposed on Malaysians during this period by Friday.
The Movement Control Order was expected to have been lifted by 1st April 2020, but according to the announcement, the MCO will only be lifted by 14th April 2020. The Prime Minister has also urged Malaysians to avoid panic buying during this period, as there is adequate supply of food in the country. Further studies will also be conducted to determine whether there is a need to further extend the MCO period.
In light of that, it is important that we heed the Prime Minister’s advice and stay at home for the time being!
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