KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — The government has extended the nationwide Movement Control Order (MCO) by another two weeks until April 28, citing the need to give space to health care workers to fight the Covid-19 epidemic.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the decision to prolong the lockdown beyond April 14 was made based on advice by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and medical experts.
“It is also in line with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) advice that affected countries do not lift their MCO too early. In a number of countries, the spreading of diseases increased when MCO was lifted too early,” he said in a televised address today.
The new extension will be the third phase of MCO, following phase one from March 18 to March 31, and phase two from April 1 to April 14.
Muhyiddin also announced that a number of industries will be allowed to operate in stages, under health guidelines and strict movement control.
Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry Azmin Ali and Senior Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob will chair a committee to decide on the industries that would be allowed to reopen. The list of industries will be announced soon, Muhyiddin said.
As of yesterday, Malaysia recorded a total of 4,228 positive cases and 67 deaths.
Muhyiddin said that 118 new coronavirus cases were reported today, lower than the number of new recoveries at 220. The additional new cases would push the total number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in Malaysia to 4,346 cases.
The Covid-19 infection rate in Malaysia was 7 per cent, below WHO’s benchmark of 10 per cent, according to Muhyiddin.
The PM also noted that Malaysia’s coronavirus mortality rate was 1.6 per cent, lower than the global average of 5.8 per cent.
“If this trend continues for the next two weeks, God willing, we will be able to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.”