KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 — Malaysians will enter yet another nationwide movement control order (MCO) beginning May 12, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced today.
He said the decision to put the whole country under a lockdown until June 7 was necessitated by rapidly rising Covid-19 case numbers.
In a statement, he also announced additional restrictions to the MCO such as workplace and vehicular capacity limits.
“With daily cases exceeding 4,000 and active cases at 37,396 as well as 1,700 deaths reported as of May 10, Malaysia is facing a third Covid-19 wave that could trigger a national crisis,” he said.
Muhyiddin also cited the detection of new Covid-19 variants in the country, the dwindling capacity of the national healthcare system, and poor compliance with standard operating procedures as the reasons for what he called the “drastic decision”.
This is also the first time the government has enforced a MCO for a four-week period as the previously these had been issued for up to two weeks at a time.
The announcement today caught many unawares as it came just hours after Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s statement on the latest MCO measures and because the government has repeatedly vowed to eschew using a nationwide MCO as a means to combat the pandemic.
After announcing the second MCO and proclaiming a state of Emergency in January, Muhyiddin told the country that the government would instead used targeted measures to try and contain the disease.
As recently as two days ago, Ismail Sabri also said the government had no plans to reintroduce a nationwide MCO.