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Malaysia announces restriction of movement effective 18 March

In a special address on the COVID-19 situation, the Malaysian Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced a restriction of movement throughout Malaysia with effect from 18th March until 31st March 2020. All offices and private premises must be closed except for essential outlets including supermarket and hypermarts.

The Prime Minister has urged all citizens to remain calm and not to panic.

The government has decided to impose a restriction of movement under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and Police Act 1967. All forms of gathering and movement are not allowed nationwide during the period and this includes religious, sports, social and cultural events. To enforce this restriction, all house of worship and businesses must be closed except for supermarkets, markets, grocery shops and shops that sell daily necessities.

The restriction will also include travel ban to overseas. For those that are returning home, travellers are required to undergo health checks and self-quarantine for 14 days. Malaysia will also close its borders to all tourist and foreigners during the period.

All schools including kindergartens, government and private schools must be closed. This also includes institutions of higher learning and private training centres throughout the country.

All government and private premises must be closed except for essential services such as water, electricity, energy, telecommunications, post, transportation, irrigation, oil, gas, lubrication, broadcast, finance, banking, health, pharmacy, fire and rescue, prison, ports, airports, security, defence, cleaning, retail and food supplies.

According to the PM’s statement, there are 125 new cases today which brings the total of COVID-19 cases to 553 in Malaysia. 511 people are currently being treated in hospitals while 42 people have recovered and discharged.

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The Prime Minister acknowledges that the restrictions will cause difficulty and inconvenience but it is necessary to contain the spread of COVID-19 that could potentially put the lives of Malaysians at risk. He added that we can’t wait any longer until the situation gets worse and drastic measures must be taken immediately to stop the spread of the disease by restricting the movement of people.

He asks all Malaysians to stay calm and have faith in the latest measures to ensure that we can control the spread in the shortest time possible. He also assures there are sufficient food supplies and daily essentials as well as face masks in the country.

For any enquiries on the restriction, the government has set up a hotline at 03-88882010. The line will be open starting at 12pm on 17th March.


Alexander Wong