While we’ve read several countries locking down in the past few weeks, nothing’s as breaking as what you’re about to read.
Yes, as you can tell from the headline, Malaysia, the worst-hit country in Southeast Asia for COVID-19 cases primarily due to a religious event in late February, will be on lockdown from 18 March to the end of this month.
And this is important because of our close ties with the country.
Everything About the M’sia Lockdown That’ll Take Place from 18 Mar to 31 Mar in 60 Seconds
Now, before anything, do bookmark this page (or just download our app) as this is a developing story; there are still many uncertainties in this “sudden” lockdown.
I used a quote for “sudden” because hours before that, hashtags such as #LockDownMalaysia have been floating on the Internet, as panic buying of daily essentials occurred in many places since the country’s sudden spike in cases since a few days ago.
And the Malaysia Health Minister has mentioned earlier today that an important announcement would be mentioned tonight.
As promised, tonight (16 March 2020), Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced a lockdown on the country, starting from 18 March until the end of the month.
He said in a televised address to the nation, “The government has decided to implement a lockdown, starting 18 March 2020, that is, the day after tomorrow until 31 March 2020, nationwide.
“Drastic action has to be taken so that we can curb the spread of this virus by limiting people’s movements. This is one of the ways that we can stop more Malaysians from being infected by this fatal disease.
“I hope that you will be patient in facing this challenge. Do not panic, do not be anxious, and stay calm. I believe that with these measures by the government, we will be able to combat the spread of this outbreak soon.”
So what would happen in Malaysia?
For a start, all houses of worship, businesses and schools are to close, except supermarkets, markets, minimarkets and convenience stores.
In other words, it’ll become a “ghost town”.
All Government and private premises will be closed except those in essential services including water, electricity, energy, telecommunications, postal services, transport, oil and gas, broadcasting, finance, banking, healthcare, pharmacies, fire department, prisons, ports, airports, security, defence, cleaning, and food supplies.
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Suffice to say, most people would be staying home—unless you work in a supermarket, that is.
And here’s the thing: people in Malaysia wouldn’t be able to leave the country, and foreigners can’t enter the country, too.
Returning Malaysians or Malaysia residents would have to go through health checks and go on a 14-day self-quarantine.
Which leads to an unanswered question (as of time of writing): how about people who live in JB and go to work to Singapore every morning? Can they still travel between Singapore and Malaysia?
Pretty sure we’ll get the answer to that soon.
As of now, the number of cases there is at 533, with more than 300 patients linked to the mosque gathering between 28 Feb to 1 March in Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur.
In the meantime, as we await more info, be prepared for massive changes in Singapore come Wednesday. A Singapore with a locked-down Malaysia is definitely going to be different.
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