The government has extended the Movement Control Order (MCO) until April 14.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said this in a televised address this afternoon, saying the extension is necessary, given the rising cases of fresh COVID-19 cases.

The premier, however, said the control order period will be studied from time to time, and announcement will be made, in case there are any changes by then.

According to Muhyiddin, 95% of Malaysians have complied with the MCO, which is in its eighth day today, with only a handful flouting the directive.

He said that he has been briefed by the National Security Council about the possible rise in COVID-19 cases if no drastic steps are taken.

"The number might go up multiple times like that has happened in other countries.

"The current measures taken (MCO) has managed to contain the situation to a certain extent, but we will not rest on our laurels until there are no fresh cases reported," he said.

Continuous efforts will be made until the infection chain is completely annihilated, he added.

"This means the movement of people must be controlled.

"All of you must be prepared mentally, and physically to stay at home, for a reasonably longer period of time.

"Therefore, the government has decided to extended the MCO until 14th April, 2020. I'm informing you about the extension beforehand so that you all can be prepared," said Muhyiddin.

"Please stay calm and don’t panic. Eventhough we have extended the Movement Control Order, you don’t have to unnecessarily stock up on food because the supply is sufficient. I assure you that food is enough for everybody."

Although this order can be burdensome to many, Muhyiddin urged the people to bear with it, as he had "no other choice."

"The movement control order will be reviewed from time to time, and if there is a need to extend it further, I will make an announcement about it. All I ask for is for all of you to be ready to spend more time at home."

COVID-19 has as of today, infected more than 1,700 people in the country, and killed 17. Globally, over 422,000 people have been infected, and more than 18,900 people have died.