Malaysia Extends Lockdown

On Saturday Malaysia introduced a month long “conditional movement order” to all but 4 states as the number of Covid-19 cases hit new highs. A further 972 new cases and 8 deaths were reported today (Monday) as total numbers reached 41,181 cases and 294 deaths.

The restrictions will cover all of Malaysia apart from Perlis, Pahang and Kelantan in peninsular Malaysia, and the state of Sarawak on Borneo island. The restrictions include Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Sabah, where current restrictions were due to expire today.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said that the National Security Council (NSC) agreed to impose the restrictions up to Dec 6 as “the increase in new Covid-19 infections has raised concern and anxiety among the public and we can no longer remain in the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).”

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As part of the restrictions people are only allowed to leave their homes for “essential tasks” which includes food shopping and medical reasons. Businesses are allowed to continue to operate but only if they follow restrictions. There are also restrictions on travel between districts. All schools will close and return to online learning and employers must allow their employees to work from home if they want and are able to do so.

Ismail Sabri the Senior Minister for Security said on Saturday that they will decide on Monday whether an enhanced movement control order (EMCO) would be implemented for the entire state of Sabah, which has seen the majority of recent cases. This would be in effect a full lockdown if implemented.

“We are very concerned,” he said “as you can see now, almost all of Sabah are now red zones.”

Picture credit Joel Brunner on Unsplash

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