PUTRAJAYA, 10 April 2020:
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today said the Covid-19 Movement Control Order (MCO) is extended to April 28.
He said this decision was taken to give space to healthcare personnel battling the Covid-19 outbreak, apart from preventing the virus from spreading again.
“This action is in line with the view of WHO (World Health Organisation), which suggested that countries should not end the movement control order too early, and has happened in several countries, the spread of the disease increased again when the order was lifted,” he said in his special address live on national television.
The MCO, aimed at breaking the Covid-19 chain of infection, was first enforced in Malaysia from March 18 to 31 before it was extended into phase two, from April 1 to 14.
The prime minister said Malaysia could not afford to view the situation lightly although the latest reports showed implementation of the MCO had helped healthcare personnel to contain the spread of Covid-19 to a level that is quite stable.
Muhyiddin said efforts to fight the outbreak should be intensified to break the chain of transmission, including by focusing on target groups identified as the source of the spread of the disease.
He said projections by the Malaysian Ministry of Health (MoH) showed the MCO, which has been in force for almost a month, had somewhat reduced the rate of infection and spread of Covid-19.
He said the efforts undertaken had resulted in positive cases being brought under control at 7% – which is below the benchmark of 7% set by WHO.
Muhyiddin said the fatality rate in Malaysia was also low, at 1.6% compared to 5.8% at the global level, while 43% or 1,830 of the Covid-19 patients in the country had recovered and been discharged from hospitals.
Today alone, Muhyiddin said the number of recovered patients was 222, which is more than the number of new positive cases at 118. Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said total number of positive Covid-19 cases in Malaysia to date is 4,346.
“The number of new positive cases had also shown a decline the past few days. If this downward trend continues for the next two weeks, insyaAllah (God willing) we can prevent Covid-19 from spreading,” said Muhyiddin.
However, based on advice from MoH and medical experts, the government had decided to extend the MCO, he said.
“What I want to say here is that we must be prepared to face this situation for a slightly longer period. It may drag on for several months before we can really determine that the outbreak of this disease has been overcome 100%.”
The prime minister said he had also directed the Inspector-General of Police, Chief of Defence Force, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency director-general, Immigration Department, RELA and related agencies to step up checks along the country’s borders to prevent illegal immigrants from slipping in through “rat routes” and bringing the virus into the country.
Realising the people’s lives could not return to normal as long as the Covid-19 menace persisted, Muhyiddin said the people have to face this reality although it might be hard to imagine.
He said this included the likelihood of a Ramadan month where people could not visit Ramadan bazaars and go to the mosque for terawih prayers and the possibility of not being able to go back to their kampung (hometowns).
He said the schooling session might also be postponed until the government is very confident the situation had returned to normal.
“Let me remind you that the war on Covid-19 is not yet over. The fight is still on. We are doing well so far, so just uplift your spirit and continue to fight. If we persevere, insyaAllah we will win.”
Muhyiddin praised the people for their high level of compliance with the MCO, which he said showed they understood the importance of breaking the chain of infection by staying at home, washing their hands frequently and practising social distancing.
Meanwhile, Petaling Jaya District Police headquarters is getting the assistance of Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) officers and personnel in view of the additional roadblocks set up in the district for the MCO.
District police chief ACP Nik Ezanee Mohd Faisal said today 80 FRU officers and personnel will be deployed in the district from today.
“We have deployed our maximum strength of 930 officers and personnel. With two more roadblocks set up in the district, raising the total number to nine, we need the additional strength in terms of the FRU officers and personnel,” he said after an inspection tour of the two new roadblocks in Jalan PJU 7/1, Mutiara Damansara.
He also said there is a proposal to have mobile posts in certain locations in the district to station policemen for foot patrols, but it is still under study.
Nik Ezanee said nine people were issued with compound fines of RM1,000 each yesterday in the district for breaching the MCO with poor excuses.