Malaysia sees RM2.4 bil losses a day from virus lockdown

Police personnel check cars at a roadblock to ensure people comply with the movement control order, which has forced many businesses to remain shut.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia estimates RM2.4 billion of losses each day from businesses remaining shut due to movement restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

The government has since unveiled RM260 billion of stimulus packages with a focus on preventing job losses and ensuring small companies can continue to be viable, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said in a televised interview broadcast on state news channels.

Meanwhile, the country can use this chance to quicken digital economic development, he added.

“Because of the MCO, the impact can be said to be very big on people’s lives and on the economy,” he said, referring to the Movement Control Order.

Malaysia extended nationwide limits on people’s activities until May 12 while easing restrictions slightly to allow some travel during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The lockdown was put in place on March 18 after the number of coronavirus cases in the country surged. Infection growth has since slowed, with the health ministry reporting fewer than 90 new cases in each of the last eight days.