Covid-19 is a virus that started in Wuhan, China, and has now spread across the globe - affecting over 162,000 people, and killing over 6,400 people worldwide.

To date, 553 people in Malaysia have tested positive for the virus.

As a means to combat the deadly virus, PM Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the government was imposing a movement control order, which will see travel in and out of the country stopped, from 18th March to 31st March 2020. Also during this time, only essential sectors will operate in the country.

The measures announced by the PM during his televised speech on March 16 include:

1. Restrictions on mass gatherings, including religious, cultural, sporting and social gatherings.
2. Malaysians will be not be allowed to travel overseas, and foreigners are barred from entering the country.
3. Malaysians who recently traveled overseas will be required to undergo 2 weeks self-quarantine and have a Covid-19 screening.
4. All educational institutions from kindergarten level to university level will be closed.
5. All government and private businesses or departments will be temporarily shut down, except for essential services such as water, electricity, energy, telecommunications, postal services, transportation, water services, oil and gas, fuel, broadcasting, financial services and banking, health and pharmacy services, the Fire and Rescue Department, prisons, ports, airports, security, defence, cleaning, retail and food supplies.

Muhyiddin said these drastic measures were necessary to get the Covid-19 outbreak under control. Malaysia is the country with the highest number of infections in ASEAN, and the fourth-highest in all of Asia, after China, South Korea and Japan.

Muhyiddin urged Malaysians to stay calm and gave his assurance that the supply of necessities will be sufficient during this period.

The government will open a national operations centre hotline from 12pm on March 17. If you have any questions or queries, you can contact the hotline at this number: 03-88882010.

Image credit: Malaysiakini