Stay put where you are, PM tells Malaysians

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin says mass movements of people will defeat the purpose of the two-week restrictions to contain the Covid-19 virus.

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has appealed to Malaysians not to go back to their hometowns throughout the movement control order (MCO) which begins today.

“Stay at home, and protect your family, and yourself,” he said in a special address just two days after announcing the MCO, which expires on March 31.

Muhyiddin said the mass movements of people would defeat the purpose of the MCO to contain the virus.

“I seek your cooperation, for these two weeks only. We want to break the chain of infection of this virus, so that the number of those infected will decrease,” he said.

Muhyiddin said if the virus failed to be contained, the government would have no choice but to extend the duration of the MCO.

He said the MCO had been set for two weeks because of the incubation period.

“There are cases where symptoms show up only after the two-week period. The government hopes that after this period, those showing symptoms can be separated successfully for treatment, making Malaysia free of Covid-19,” he said.

Muhyiddin said he was making this appeal as many had returned to their hometowns yesterday.

“Even the bus stations were crowded with people who had wanted to go back to their hometowns, thousands in numbers,” he said.

He urged the people to stay put wherever they were, and to postpone any trips back home.

“Those in Kuala Lumpur, stay in Kuala Lumpur. Those in Johor Bahru, stay in Johor Bahru. Those in Penang, stay in Penang.

“Go back to your hometowns some other time. I am asking for your help, just for this two-week period,” he said.

Muhyiddin reminded the public that markets and restaurants were still open, but urged for people to take care of their hygiene and health.

He told them to keep a distance from other people when out running errands.

“Wash your hands using soap, or hand sanitiser. If possible, shower more often, so your body stays clean,” he said.

He said no dining-in was allowed in restaurants but people may order packed food to take home, and advised them to utilise delivery services to avoid going out.

“Don’t use these two weeks to hang out at mamak restaurants. This will increase the risk of infections.

“Avoid hanging out with friends at restaurants, kopitiam, entertainment outlets or any other places that can expose you to infection of Covid-19,” he said.

Muhyiddin also reminded the people that the ban on public gatherings under the MCO included wedding celebrations.

He appealed to those organising celebrations during the school holidays to cancel them. “Solemnisation (of the weddings) can be carried out, but don’t have wedding celebrations just yet.

“In these two weeks, stay put at home, stay at home,” he said.