Photo: Travellers wear face masks at Kuala Lumpur International Airport amid the spread of COVID-19, on Mar 5, 2020. Naufal Zaquan/Shutterstock

Islamic Lifestyle

Malaysia goes into lockdown as COVID-19 cases rise


Malaysia will impose a lockdown from Mar 18 to 31 as the number of COVID-19 cases rises in the country, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced on Monday (Mar 16).

The country will be placed under a nationwide restriction order during this time.

Gatherings will not be allowed, including religious, sporting, social and cultural events.

All houses of worship for all religions will be closed, including all mosque-related activities and Friday prayers.

All shops are to close except food retail businesses such as markets, supermarkets, minimarkets and convenience stores.

The prime minister said the country has enough food supplies and daily needs, including face masks.

Malaysians will be barred from leaving the country. Returning citizens and residents from overseas must undergo a health inspection and self-quarantine for 14 days.

Foreign tourists and visitors will not be allowed in.

All schools will be closed, including pre-schools, public and private schools, residential schools, international schools, and tahfiz centres. All public and private institutions of higher learning will also be closed from Mar 18 to 31.

Government and private premises will be closed except those providing essential services including utilities, telecommunications, postal services, transport, oil and gas, broadcasting, finance, banking, healthcare, pharmacies, fire department, prisons, ports, airports, security, defence, cleaning and food supplies.

The prime minister said in his statement that Malaysia saw 190 new cases of the virus on Sunday (Mar 15) and 125 as of noon on Monday, taking the country’s tally to 553. 511 are being treated in hospitals and 42 have recovered.

Malaysia’s drastic move follows that of other countries including Italy, Germany, France, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.

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