Malaysia extends partial lockdown for two more weeks until start of Ramadan

An FRU personnel mans a roadblock on Jalan PJU 7/1 in Petaling Jaya April 10, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
An FRU personnel mans a roadblock on Jalan PJU 7/1 in Petaling Jaya April 10, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Putrajaya today announced that the movement control order (MCO) has been extended for two more weeks until April 28, just a few days after the start of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today the decision was taken to give space to healthcare workers to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, in addition to prevent the recurrence of infection.

“Based on advice from the Ministry of Health and health experts, the government today decided to extend the MCO for two more weeks,” Muhyiddin said in a special address.

Muhyiddin explained that the decision was also in line with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) guidelines that advises against lifting such MCOs too early to avoid a reoccurring wave of infections.

The Prime Minister then advised Malaysians to brace themselves to face an extended period under such restrictions, saying it could go on for several months before authorities are absolutely sure the outbreak is fully contained.

As for the approaching period of Ramadan, Muhyiddin said it would be a month without visiting the regular bazaars and without congregating at the mosques for tarawih prayers.

“We might not even be able to return to our hometowns as we usually do. Even though it is hard for us to imagine such a situation, but this is the reality that we have to face,” he said.

Muhyiddin then assured that the wellbeing of all Malaysians remained his main priority as Prime Minister, adding how it was his responsibility to ensure the safety and livelihoods of everyone.

“Every life is valuable. Whether it’s a baby, the youth, adults, or the senior citizens, each and every one is valuable.

“The loss of a life to the virus does not only mean the loss of a husband, or wife, or son or daughter, or a close family member, but happens to be a big loss to the country as well.

“Let me remind you that the war on Covid-19 is not over yet. The fight is still on. We are doing well so far, so just uplift your spirit and continue to fight.

“If we persevere, God willing we will win,” he said.

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