KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 — With just three days remaining for the current movement control order (MCO), Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is making a special address to the nation tomorrow afternoon. He is expected to provide the latest updates on the MCO and there’s a possibility that it could be extended if it’s required to contain the spread of Covid-19.
The PM’s announcement will be streamed live at 2pm on Sunday, 10th May across multiple platforms including RTM, Bernama TV, TV3 and Astro Awani. The MCO which took effect from 18th of March has been extended three times with two-week increments. If the PM decides to announce another extension, it could be extended until the 25th of May.
Covid-19 situation in Malaysia
After almost 8 weeks into the MCO, it appears that Malaysia has made positive progress with mostly double-digit daily numbers for new cases in the past few weeks. As of today, there are a total of 6,589 cases and 108 deaths recorded so far. At the moment, nearly 75 per cent of cases have already recovered and discharged while the mortality rate at 1.64 per cent is below the global average.
At the moment, there are a total of 113 green zones, 77 yellow zones and 11 red zones. The northern states of Perak, Pulau Pinang, Perlis, Kedah and Kelantan are fully green with no new cases recorded.
Since Monday, the 4th of May, most business sectors are permitted to reopen under the conditional movement control order (CMCO) but they must adhere to strict SOP to ensure the safety of both employees and customers. At the same time, the authorities have also reduced restrictions for essential shopping trips by allowing up to 4 family members in a vehicle. The 10km radius limit has also been lifted.
However, interstate travel is still forbidden except for emergency purposes. For those that are stranded, the police are allowing a one-time interstate trip between 7-10 May via Gerak Malaysia.
As mentioned by health director-general, Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, the MCO is not meant to eradicate Covid-19 completely, but to help to flatten the curve. This is to ensure that the number of new infections does not overwhelm the country’s healthcare system.
The health D-G had previously mentioned that in order for MCO to be lifted, the country needs to fulfil several criteria which include reducing the number of daily cases to a single digit. The ministry had estimated that the number of daily cases could drop less than 10 per day as early as 5th May but we are behind the target by a week.
However, he reiterated that the most crucial factor is to ensure that the situation is under control. This means that our medical healthcare system has sufficient capacity to handle the daily cases of Covid-19. He also shared that the number of Covid-19 cases in ICU has reduced in the past few weeks and even the number of affected patients that rely on respiratory support is now less than 10 cases.
Although the restrictions under the MCO are gradually lifted, Malaysians are urged to stay at home if they don’t have any valid reasons to go out. Even if MCO is lifted, social distancing is still required and everyone needs to take additional measures in the new normal. Public gathering including religious, cultural and private events are still not permitted.
In a recent press conference, he gave examples such as South Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan, where they have managed to control the number of cases without suspending economic activities. This is due to the self-discipline of its citizens as they comply with social distancing guidelines in their daily life.
Will MCO be extended? We’ll find out soon enough. — SoyaCincau