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MCO started on Mar 18, 2020

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Waze: Malaysians are driving 80% fewer kilometres during MCO

Malaysia’s favourite navigation app, Waze, has just shared some insights on the current driving habits as more countries have imposed restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19. The Movement control order in Malaysia has impacted driving habits and it is reflected in Waze’s latest report.

According to Waze, globally most countries have dramatically stopped driving and global users have driven 60% fewer kilometres compared to the February daily average between 11 – 25 February. With the MCO in place, the drop in Malaysia is more apparent as Waze users are driving significantly less with 80% fewer kilometres compared to the daily average in February.

On the 17th of March, there’s a huge spike of 20% and this could be Malaysians rushing to travel interstate before the MCO took effect on 18th March. Just hours before midnight, the police initially announced that permission is required to travel interstate but this directive was withdrawn after crowds were formed at various police stations.

During the MCO, Malaysians are not allowed to leave their home unless it is for official duty (under essential services), to buy necessities or to seek medical treatment. When going out to buy essentials, only the head of the family or a representative is allowed.

In the subsequent phase of the MCO, the government has introduced further restrictions whereby Malaysians are not allowed to travel beyond a 10km radius unless there’s a strong and valid reason. The directive has impacted the average distance per trip throughout the country.

To assist Waze users during the MCO, Waze has also called upon volunteer map editors and governments to add quarantine-related road closures and map pins for medical testing centres and emergency food distribution locations. To keep the map up to date, you can contribute here.

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Alexander Wong