Health D-G warns of tsunami-like third wave of Covid-19 if Malaysians don’t play their part now

Customers pack food to go at a food court in Penang March 18, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Customers pack food to go at a food court in Penang March 18, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 18 — Malaysia could suffer a third wave of Covid-19 infections reaching tsunami-like proportions unless Malaysians strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today.

Dr Noor Hisham made the grim prediction as he reminded Malaysians to stay at home as much as possible to avoid Covid-19 from continuing to spread.

“Today is the first day of our ‘movement restriction order’. In simple words ‘please stay at home’ and distance yourself from others.

“We have a small window of opportunity to break the chain of Covid-19 transmission. Please help MoH to play your part, as each and every one of us has the responsibility to take all the precautionary measures to keep ourselves and families safe,” he wrote in a brief message on his Facebook page earlier today when urging for Malaysians to complement the Health Ministry’s efforts to combat Covid-19.

“Failure is not an option here, otherwise, we might face the 3rd wave of the virus. The next one will be as big as a tsunami, more so if we have a lackadaisical attitude.

“I plead to all Malaysians, please take this movement restriction order seriously. ‘Stay at home’,” he concluded.

Malaysia is under the government’s restriction of movement order now from today until March 31, with all public gatherings banned with the aim of preventing crowds from forming and to slow the spread of Covid-19.

The government this morning issued new regulations that said no one is to move around within the state or federal territory where they are located, unless it is to perform official duties; to buy, supply or deliver food or daily necessities; or to seek healthcare or medical services, or for any other special purposes allowed by the director-general.

They can also only make a journey to and from a limited category of premises, including premises that provide essential services; premises selling food for drive-through, takeaway and delivery; or premises involved in the food supply chain.

The new regulations also disallow anyone from travelling between different states in Malaysia unless they have already obtained written permission from a police officer in charge of a police station.

Anyone who fails to comply with these new regulations will be committing an offence that is punishable by a maximum fine of RM1,000, or a maximum six-month jail term, or both.

Yesterday, the National Security Council (NSC) advised Malaysians to cancel any holiday plans they have made for travel within Malaysia, including those they have already paid for.

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