MCO Extended Further & Other Related Updates You Ought To Know

  • 24 Apr 2020

When April ends in less than a week, most of us would have spent the whole month under a virtual lockdown, no thanks to the spread of COVID-19 and the Movement Control Order (MCO) enforced to contain the disease. 

Here's a quick recap of the updates that you may want to know about. 

MCO extended

  • Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin told a televised Ramadan address to the nation last night that the MCO will be extended for a fourth time, until May 12. While noting the encouraging COVID-19 discovery figures in the country, the premier, however, did not discount the possibility of a further extension, to make sure the situation has really come under control.This means that many will not be able to "balik kampung" for Hari Raya next month, or even work, unless there are employed under certain permissible sectors. 
No 'balik kampung'
  • While 'balik kampung' is not allowed, some 100,000 college and university students who are "stranded" at their campuses during the MCO, will be allowed to leave to their hometowns.The same will apply to people stranded at their present locations, where they had gone to before the MCO was implemented, to allow them to make their way to their respective homes. According to Muhyiddin, this is the "slight flexibility" given to Malaysians, but stressed that the execution of this needed proper planning by the government, as it involved the movement of a large number of people. 
A 'different' Ramadan begins
  • Muslims start their fasting today as the Ramadan month kicks off. However, it will be a totally different experience this time around, as they will not be allowed to gather for Tarawih (additional ritual prayers performed by Sunni Muslims at night after the Isha prayer during the holy month of Ramadan), due to the closure of houses of worship during the MCO. Ramadan bazaars will also not be open and restaurants will not be allowed to open until late to accommodate the opening of fast. The same restrictions may still apply until Hari Raya, which falls on the third week of May. 
Longer travel ban
  • Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has hinted at a longer ban on travels, even after the MCO has been lifted. He pointed out that imported cases of COVID-19 has gone down since border control was tightened, and stressed the need for it to be continued. Under the MCO, Malaysians are banned from leaving the country, and non-Malaysians are barred from coming in. Citizens are only allowed to return home, but they have to strictly undergo medical screening and self isolation for 14 days, upon return.

As of yesterday, there were 5,603 COVID-19 cases in the country, with 95 deaths. 

Globally, the disease has affected more than 2.7 million people and killed over 190,000. 

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