Many people’s worst fears have come true as Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced the reinstatement of the movement control order (MCO) lockdown measures. Fortunately, this reinstatement only covers select states and federal territories that have experienced the worst of the resurgent Covid-19 outbreak. The remaining states will continue to operate under CMCO and RMCO guidelines.

According to the Prime Minister, five states, including Penang, Selangor, Melaka, Johor and Sabah, and the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan will be placed under MCO again for two weeks until 26 January. Interstate travel is banned across the country, while travelling between districts is not allowed for the states under MCO.

“To prevent cross-state and cross-district travel, roadblocks will be enforced from 12.01am on Wednesday,” Mr Muhyiddin said, adding that movement was limited to a 10km radius for the states under MCO.

The Prime Minister also announced that social activities such as wedding receptions, conferences, religious gatherings, seminars, courses and mass sports are not allowed during this new MCO period.

On the other hand, while strict movement restrictions are in place, an exception would be provided for students and examination candidates, including those sitting for their Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) examinations in 2020 and 2021. Schools will be required to follow tight standard operating procedures (SOP) during their operations.

The government has also identified five sectors which are allowed to operate and categorised as essential economic sectors, which are manufacturing, construction, services, trade and distribution, and the plantation and commodities.

As for the vaccine situation, the government has announced that the third phase of clinical trials for the Covid-19 vaccines will take place on 21 January across nine ministry hospitals and involving 3,000 volunteers.

For the general public, the first phase of supplies of the Pfizer vaccine is expected to arrive by the end of February.


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