PUTRAJAYA: The movement control order (MCO) to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the country has been further extended to April 28, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said today.
In a live telecast, he said the MCO had helped healthcare workers contain the spread of the infection.
Muhyiddin said the decision was in line with the World Health Organisation’s view against lifting the MCO too early as it would lead to the virus spreading quicker as seen in some countries.
He said Malaysia’s death rates were low compared to the global toll, and that the number of new cases had also dropped.
“If the trend continues to drop, we can curb it from spreading, but we cannot take it easy,” he said.
“The extension is to allow health workers to curb the pandemic.”
The MCO, implemented on March 18, was initially supposed to end on March 31 but was later extended to April 14.
Under the MCO, all government and private businesses have been shut down except for essential services such as water and electricity, telecommunications, transport, banking and food supply.
In the second phase of the MCO, a 10km travel restriction was imposed with leeway given if essential services or items were not found within the vicinity.
The public was also barred from carrying passengers in their vehicles except during emergencies, with a 10pm-6am curfew for all vehicles, including those used for e-hailing.
Hypermarkets, grocery stores and petrol stations, meanwhile, were only allowed to operate from 8am to 8pm.
In his live telecast today, Muhyiddin said schools would continue to be closed until the situation stabilised, adding that the education ministry would implement home-based learning for students until the MCO was lifted.
He said selected sectors would be opened in stages and operate according to a standard operating procedure.
“This does not mean we are loosening the MCO, and if any entrepreneur, factory or company disobeys the order, we will withdraw the approval to operate,” he said, adding that he was aware the restrictions under the MCO had impacted the country’s economy.
Muhyiddin also said a special committee, to be chaired by the defence and international trade and industry ministers, would be set up to review the list of sectors which would be allowed to operate.
“The list will be announced in the near future,” he said.
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