There is less than one day left before Putrajaya's announcement on whether there will be a second extension to the Movement Control Order (MCO), enforced to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

The MCO, enforced on March 18, was supposed to end on March 31, but later extended until April 14.

Here are some facts about the restrictive order that you may want to know about.

'Extend MCO Beyond Raya'

Medical group The Academy of Sciences of Malaysia urged for the MCO to be extended to and beyond the Hari Raya Aidilfitri season.

In a statement today, the group said this is to prevent the virus from being spread even further through the balik kampung exodus.

"The risk of spreading the virus, particularly to the elderly, in the case of a 'balik kampung' exodus, is very real.

"Risks associated with crowding at R&R (rest and recreation) stations, and hence the failure of social distancing by travellers during this exodus and their subsequent return to urban areas, will also need to be taken into consideration," the group added.

Violators to Face RM1K Fine

MCO violators will now face a RM1,000, non-bargainable fine. Under the new directive, beginning April 8, violators will be given two weeks to settle the fines, failing which they can be taken to court. The move was made after the Prisons Department asked the judiciary to stop sending MCO violators to jail to prevent further spreading of COVID-19 among inmates.

Not all MCO violators will get off with RM1,000 fines, the cops said. Those who commit more serious offences, such as obstructing the authorities from carrying out their duties, can be detained and jailed for up to two years, or fined RM10,000, or both.

Majority Wants Extension

A survey by the National Security Council (NSC) showed that the majority of people have agreed to an extension of the MCO.

The poll, carried out through NSC's public Telegram channel, has polled over 222,000 people as at noon today, and 88% have agreed for the extension, reported NST.

MCO Proving Tough For Animals

The MCO, as much as it has helped in controlling the spread of the virus via social distancing, is proving to be bad news for our furry friends.

According to the Selangor Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), the number of people adopting pets or giving donations to animal shelters have gone down to zero since the MCO started.

The administrator of several other animal shelters told NST that they were worried about the dwindling supply of animal food during the MCO.

So what do you think? Should there be a second extension of the MCO, or people should be allowed to get back to their normal lives? Let us know in the comments.

Source: NST, The Star, NST
Photo source: Astro Awani