KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 — The government has extended the Movement Control Order by two weeks to April 14, as coronavirus cases are expected to continue rising for a while before new infections fall.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said current measures are insufficient until Malaysia records zero new Covid-19 cases.
He said the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Security Council (NSC) have briefed him that new coronavirus infections are still being reported.
“This trend is expected to continue for a while before new cases start to fall,” Muhyiddin told a national address today.
“This obliges the government to continue the Movement Control Order for a longer period. In line with that, the government has decided to extend the Movement Control Order until April 14, 2020.”
Muhyiddin also added that as at 12pm today, 172 new cases have been reported, bringing the total number of cases to 1,796 – a stark contrast to what was reported just a week ago at only 673 cases. Two deaths were reported earlier today, making the total lives lost to Covid-19 at 17.
He said that the government expects the number of cases to increase if stern actions are not taken.
“Therefore, the Ministry of Health has taken some measures. This includes providing 3,585 beds in 34 hospitals nationwide to receive Covid-19 patients. Currently 34 per cent of hospital bed capacity has been used, with the remaining 66 per cent can still accommodate patients. Some places have also been identified to serve as an isolation centre and temporary quarantine centre,” he said..
Muhyiddin further stated that people currently still staying in their hometowns are not allowed to return to their home until April 14.
“Students do not need to return to their universities yet. Offices will not be reopened yet. If you have anything important to be taken care of in the next two or three weeks, plan from now and do what you can.”
The prime minister also advised the public not to panic and hoard groceries as there is enough supply for all.
“Please stay calm and don’t panic. Even though we have extended the Movement Control Order, you don’t have to unnecessarily stock up on food because the supply is sufficient. I assure you that food is enough for everybody,” he stated.
“I know you feel burdened but I don’t have a choice. I have to extend the Movement Control Order for your own safety.”