KUALA LUMPUR, 17 March 2020: Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced on national TV emergency lockdown measures that will come into effective 18 March and continue to the end of the month.
Just hours earlier, the Malaysia Travel and Tourism Association’s president, Datuk Tan Kok Liang, called on the government to take drastic action and “press the reset button” after the confirmed cases tally soared to 566 at the weekend.
In his TV statement, the Prime Minister said mass events would be cancelled, including cultural, social, sports and religious events. All places of worship and businesses will close, except for markets, supermarkets and shops selling essential goods.
Muhyiddin stated that all Malaysians currently overseas would undergo self-quarantine for 14 days when they returned home. Foreign travellers are barred from entering the country and Malaysians must stop all overseas travel.
Essential services will remain open, such as pharmacies, power plants, telecommunications and transportation facilities.
Malaysia has 566 confirmed cases of Covid-19 as of 16 March, with 511 in hospital, and 42 recovered cases.