Malaysians have cited Astro as one of the local brands that stepped up to implement relief initiatives to ease the consumers' burden during the Movement Control Order (MCO) that began on March 18.

In the survey by Vase.ai, an online market research company, the broadcast giant was listed at number eight, alongside other big companies in their respective fields, such as Digi, Maxis, Gardenia, Foodpanda, Grab, among others.

A total of 1,083 Malaysians were sampled in the online study on April 8, 2020, where they were given open-ended questions to list down all the brands they felt, had shown genuine care for consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Besides the top 10 brands, the research also mentioned five other brands, which were acknowledged by customers for their efforts.

The initiative Astro received recognition for was the company's extended complimentary viewing of the Learning, News, Stay Home Concert, and selected movie channels throughout the MCO, as well as the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) to all its customers.

These facilities were also available via the Astro Go and Astro On Demand platforms. Non-Astro subscribers were also allowed to sign in for free viewing via Astro Go.

On March 31, Astro said it has recorded a considerable increase in viewership since the beginning of the MCO.

TV viewership increased by 43% while daily time spent on the platform rose by 30%, it said in a statement. News channel viewing also registered a 71% rise, the statement added.

Viewership for English movies and entertainment soared over a whopping 200%, while Astro GO recorded over 100,0000 new registrations.

Malaysia is under the CMCO June 9, to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the measure, almost all economic sectors were allowed to reopen, provided they followed strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

Despite the number of new infection and death cases being on a consistent downward trend, it is yet to be known whether the government will extend the lockdown measures further.

Until June 2, COVID-19 has infected 7,877 people in Malaysia, and killed 115.

The global infection and fatality tally from the disease has surpassed 6.48 million, and over 382,000, respectively.