MOVEMENT CONTROL ORDER: PLAY YOUR PART IN PREVENTING COVID-19
Over the last two weeks, Malaysia has recorded a significant increase in the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases all over the country. Considering the situation, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced that the government will implement the Movement Control Order (MCO) as a preventive measure towards the pandemic COVID-19 starting on 18 March 2020 and applies throughout Malaysia. The Order is in accordance with the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and the Police Act 1967. Initially, the time frame of the MCO was 18 – 31 March 2020. However, on the 25th of March, the Prime Minister through a live national telecast announced that the control order is extended until 14 April 2020.
Concisely, there are six instructions stated in the Order:
- Barring of mass movements and gatherings including religious, sports, social and cultural activities;
- Comprehensive restrictions on all Malaysians to travel abroad;
- Restrictions on the entry of all foreign tourists and visitors into the country;
- Closing of all kindergarten, government and private schools, and other primary, secondary and pre-university institutions;
- Closing of all public and private institutions of higher learning and skills training institutes nationwide; and
- Closing of all government and private premises excluding those involved in essential services.
How Coronavirus Spreads
According to the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH), the coronavirus disease spreads mainly through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object with the virus on it, and then transfers it into their bodies by touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. Current evidence also shows that person-to-person spread is more efficient when there is close contact.
Tips for Prevention
As the Covid-19 keeps on spreading, our entire country is at risk. Therefore, Malaysians play a very crucial role in helping the country cope with the COVID-19 incident in Malaysia. In line with recent directives from MOH, everyone can fulfill their responsibilities by continuing to adopt precautionary measures to protect themselves, family and the community as a whole. Below are a few practices that you can follow:
- Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with water and soap or use hand sanitizer with at least 70% alcohol content when in situations without access to water or soap.
- If you show symptoms such as fever, cough, and sneezing, wear a mask.
- Immediately seek medical help if you are unwell and exhibiting symptoms as stated above.
- Practice social distancing (at least 1 meter away from others).
- Postpone any trips to affected countries and if you have symptoms within 14 days after visiting these affected countries, please seek immediate treatment and inform your medical practitioner of your journey history.
The Bottom Line
Taking prevention steps is extremely important to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Practicing good hygiene, following prevention guidelines, and encouraging your friends and family to do the same will go a long way in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Even though the government has extended the movement control order (MCO), everyone is advised to stay calm and don’t panic, said the Prime Minister. The extension of the MCO is for everyone’s safety. Hence, as Malaysians, we have to work as a team, join the national effort and protect each other to fight the virus.
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