KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — A 14-day ‘total lockdown’ was announced by Malaysia’s Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in a release on Friday night (28 May), in the wake of the continuous spike in new daily COVID-19 cases in the country.
The lockdown, which will commence on 1 Jun and will last until 14 Jun, will see a return of restrictions under the first Movement Control Order (MCO) such as the closure of all sectors except essential services and key economic sectors.
Touching on the decision to enforce such a lockdown, the federal government said that the move was made in light of daily new cases that have surpassed the 8,000 mark.
As a result, the capacity of hospitals nationwide to treat COVID-19 cases is being stretched beyond their limits, said PMO.
To date, there are 70,000 active cases and 2,552 deaths due to COVID-19, it noted.
PMO added that the presence of new, more aggressive variants of the virus has also influenced the decision to put in place a total lockdown during the stipulated period.
Should this Phase One total lockdown succeed in reducing the daily number of cases, the government will then move into a Phase Two lockdown, where several economic sectors that do not require large gatherings could reopen.
At the end of Phase Two, the government will then enter Phase Three, during which the MCO — as it stands at present — will be enforced.
During the MCO, social activities involving gatherings are prohibited. However, nearly all economic sectors remain operational, subject to strict standard operating procedures and social distancing measures.
Further updates will be released by the National Security Council in due course.