KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Thursday (April 23) that he is extending the country's stay-at-home order by another two weeks, to May 12.
This is the third extension of the movement control order (MCO), which had been scheduled to end on Tuesday (April 28).
Malaysia first imposed the MCO on March 18 to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The Prime Minister said that although new Covid-19 cases is lower today than at the start of the movement curbs, the government has not brought the pandemic under control.
The MCO enters its 37th day on Thursday, which is the eve of the start of the Muslim fasting month, or Ramadan.
He said in an announcement broadcast live on television and on social media platforms that the curbs could be extended further, or the country reopened in phases, depending on the Covid-19 data from the country's Health Ministry.
The first two-week phase of the MCO was between March 18 and 31. The second phase was between April 1 and 14, also for two weeks.
During the partial lockdown, Malaysians could only leave their homes to buy groceries, medicine or food, with the police and army setting up roadblocks in many areas across the country.
Only essential workers, ranging from healthcare employees to the police as well as the army along with supermarket and restaurant staff, are permitted to leave their homes daily.
Restaurants can do only takeaways and most businesses, except essential services, were shut.
Malaysia on Thursday reported 71 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the cumulative total to 5,603.
The double-digit figure continues a week of such daily numbers of new cases - an improvement from the triple-digit numbers recorded in the initial days of the MCO.
There were two more deaths, bringing the number of fatalities to 95.