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  • Selena Thian

Malaysia Declares Restricted Movement Control to Curb Further COVID-19 Virus Outbreak

Updated: Apr 8, 2020

Crowds wearing masks in public places. —BERNAMA pic

On March 11, the World Health Organisation declared the current novel Coronavirus (otherwise known as COVID-19) outbreak as a pandemic, with more than 118,000 cases affecting over 110 countries around the globe.

The term was refrained from using to suppress unnecessary fear and panic in the public, and in hopes to contain the virus from further spreading before it reached a serious level.

So, why did WHO decide to label this outbreak now?

Many have grown concern of the rapid spread of COVID-19, however the general public has not shown any real urgency when it comes to improving the situation.

WHO has assessed and advised on the potential severity of the situation due to the alarming levels of inaction by the public. The organisation hopes to change how countries are tackling the outbreak with the announcement and urges all sectors and industries to lend a hand.

“This is not just a public health crisis, it is a crisis that will touch every sector, so every sector and every individual must be involved in the fights,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, during a press briefing. "We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: All countries can still change the course of this pandemic."

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, one of the earliest dated pandemics in the history was recorded in 1580 and since then there has been more than four influenza-related pandemics in just the 19th and 20th centuries. Prior to COVID-19, the last pandemic reported was in 2009 where the swine flu, H1N1, took hundreds of thousands of lives globally.


Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has imposed a movement control order to curb further spreading. The public is advised to stay indoors and avoid contact with one another for the period of 2 weeks starting today, 18th March 2020.

Businesses will be temporarily ceasing their operations and only those in the essential service lines such as banks, postal services, insurance and such will be operating during this time. Interstate travels will require a special written permit as well for the time being.

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