KUALA LUMPUR, KOMPAS.com – Malaysia will enforce lockdown or a nationwide “national movement control order” (MCO) from Wednesday (12 May) through early next month.
Prime Minister (PM) Muhyiddin Yassin stated on Monday (10/5/2021) this was done to stem the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the country.
Read also: Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak Fined for Violating Covid-19 Rules
In his statement, Muhyiddin said the decision was taken by the National Security Council, the decision -making body on the Malaysian pandemic, during a meeting chaired by him on Monday (10/5/2021).
This is the third major closure imposed by “neighboring countries” since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rules lockdown this will likely be the tightest since March last year, when only a large part of the country’s economy closed.
Muhyiddin said economic activities will continue throughout the country. However, all social activities, events, dining in restaurants, and inter-district and interstate travel are prohibited.
Cross-state and district travel is only allowed for work, emergencies, medical appointments, partner visits, and vaccination appointments.
“Only certain outdoor activities are allowed under this new rule, which will last until June 7,” Muhyiddin said. The Straits Times.
Also read: Covid-19 in Malaysia is getting worse, many young patients have died
The announcement was made just a few days before Eid al-Fitr, which will be celebrated on Thursday (13/5/2021) at the end of the fasting month.
Lockdown Malaysia’s first to tackle Covid-19 took place nearly two months between March and May last year.
However, the country’s initial success in dealing with the pandemic was canceled. Precisely after the general elections for the Sabah State Legislative Assembly in September.
That activity sparked a new wave of the pandemic, which continued for nearly nine months.
PM Muhyiddin imposed MCOs in most countries between January and February this year, after the economic reopening in December led to a surge in infections.
Cases have shown signs of abating since March 2021, but spiked again in mid-April at the start of the fasting month of Ramadan.
This coincides with a leniency from the Malaysian government, which allows the Ramadan food bazaar to reopen after being banned last year.
The government of the “Neighboring Country” at the same time gave permission for Ramadan prayers every night. The restaurant, which usually closes at midnight, also remains open until 06.00 am.
Also read: Covid-19 in Malaysia is also getting worse, hundreds of ICU patients are piling up
The active cases of Covid-19 have more than doubled in the past month. It rose from a low of 15,000 active cases in early April to more than 37,396 active cases on Monday (10/5/2021).
Health authorities have noted a new surge in hospitalizations, as a new variant of the virus was reported in Malaysia.
As of Monday (10/5/2021), 434 patients were in the intensive care unit with more than half needing breathing assistance.
On Sunday (9/5/2021), Malaysia recorded the highest number of deaths since the pandemic began, with 26 deaths.
The country recorded 3,807 new infections as of Monday (10/5/2021), bringing the cumulative total of cases to 444,484 cases, with 1,700 deaths.
This will be the second year in a row that Malaysians have spent Hari Raya Idul Fitri under the Covid-19 restriction and travel ban.
Malaysia had initially hoped that vaccination efforts would ease the infection, and gradually begin to reopen the economy.
However, a spike in infections coupled with the slow arrival of the vaccine has led the government to reinstate it lockdown nationwide starting this week.