PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has urged Malaysians to remain calm and be patient as the nation goes into a partial lockdown from Wednesday (March 18) to the end of the month.
“Don’t panic, don’t worry and stay calm,” he said in a special televised address to the nation tonight.
He announced the imposition of a Movement Control Order under which mass gatherings are banned. All public activities have been suspended and all offices, businesses, places of worship, and schools are to be closed.
He said the action was necessary to curtail the spread of Covid-19 infections, although it would cause difficulties for the people.
“We cannot wait any longer until the situation becomes worse. Drastic measures must be taken immediately to stop the spread of this virus by limiting mass movements,” he said.
The prime minister said Malaysians should be patient, adding that he believed the government’s decision would halt the spread of the virus.
He also gave an assurance of sufficient supplies of food, daily necessities and healthcare services. The domestic trade and consumer affairs ministry has been ordered to constantly monitor the situation throughout the lockdown period.
The National Security Council, chaired by himself, would meet every day to monitor and give updates on the situation from time to time.
“I ask my fellow Malaysians to always obey the order. This is our shared responsibility that we must fulfill as Malaysians who are concerned about our family, community and country.
“I pray that you would continue to be strong and gallant in fulfilling your duty to ensure the safety and prosperity of this country’s people.”
The partial lockdown curtails all public activities in the country, including a ban on religious, sporting, social and cultural activities.
All businesses, religious premises and schools are to be closed.
Grocers, public markets and sundry shops will remain open. Restaurants and eating places are to be closed but food delivery services will continue.
Malaysians are barred from leaving the country. Those who have just arrived from abroad must undergo a 14-day period of self-quarantine. Tourists and visitors are also banned from entering the country in this period.
All public and private schools and educational institutions are to be closed from March 18 to 31.
All government and private business premises will be closed except for essential services: water and electricity, telecommunication, postal service, transport, fuel, gas, lubrication, broadcasting, banking, health, pharmacy, fire-fighting, ports, airports, prisons, security and defence, sanitary services, provision and food supply.
Anyone who needs more information on the partial lockdown may contact the National Operations Management Centre from 12pm tomorrow at 03-88882010.