Infectious diseases expert urges Malaysians not to ‘balik kampung’ during shutdown

Pedestrians are seen wearing masks along Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur March 16 2020. The movement control order was announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday night, and will start tomorrow until March 31. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Pedestrians are seen wearing masks along Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur March 16 2020. The movement control order was announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday night, and will start tomorrow until March 31. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — An infectious diseases expert has cautioned the public not to return to their hometowns during the upcoming two-week movement control order, so as to limit the potential risk of spreading Covid-19.

Universiti Malaya Faculty of Medicine dean Prof Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman said it is important to stay put wherever you are, and not travel as much as possible.

“The idea is all of us, every single individual, needs to stay away as much as possible from another human being,” she told Malay Mail.

Earlier today, Dr Adeeba had also tweeted as such in reply to a question, stating that doing so would defeat the purpose of the nationwide movement control order.

“No, the answer is No. Stay put wherever you are.

“The whole idea of this Restricted Movement Order is to... restrict movement... to minimise human contact that can spread the virus. Social distancing is the fancy term for it,” she said.

 

 

She also noted that in the case of individuals found to be Covid-19 positive, the virus may also be present in their immediate surroundings for several hours as well. 

However, as the individual is likely to be already under quarantine even before testing as positive, contact with others is thus greatly limited.

The movement control order was announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday night, and will start tomorrow until March 31. This will affect all business premises as they will have to shut down, with supermarkets and grocery stores selling daily essentials being exempted.

All government and private premises will also be closed during the movement control order, except for essential services such as utilities, telecommunications, transport, banking, health, pharmacies, ports, airports, cleaning and food supplies.

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