Coronavirus: Seven villages east of KL under enhanced curbs as 71 students test positive

A police officer and soldiers stand at a roadblock to maintain Malaysia's movement control order in Kuala Lumpur on March 25, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia on Sunday (March 29) imposed the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) on seven villages in Hulu Langat district in Selangor - located to the east of capital city Kuala Lumpur - after 71 students at an Islamic boarding school tested positive for the coronavirus.

The EMCO is a stricter version of the MCO, or partial lockdown, that has been imposed across Malaysia from March 18 in a bid to halt the spread of Covid-19.

Under the MCO, which was in its 12th day on Sunday, residents are allowed to leave their homes to buy supplies from supermarkets and wet markets, and to buy food from restaurants. They could also order food to be delivered to their homes.

But during the duration of the EMCO, residents and visitors in the area would not be allowed to leave their houses, said Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

"Non-residents and visitors are also not allowed to enter the area," he said, adding all exits would be closed.

"All business activity is stopped and basic foodstuff for the 14-day duration will be supplied to residents by the Social Welfare Department," he said in a statement on Sunday.

The EMCO, the second to be imposed in the country, was ordered for Hulu Langat from early Monday, March 30, to April 13, after the students at the tahfiz, an Islamic school, tested positive.

Datuk Seri Ismail, who is also Defence Minister, said the area under EMCO covers Batu 21 until Batu 24 in Sungai Lui, in Selangor state.

"The EMCO will involve 3,918 residents comprising 700 houses. This includes seven villages - two orang asli villages and five Malay villages.

"This order is in effect from midnight today until April 13," he said in a statement.

Mr Ismail said the EMCO would prevent the spread of Covid-19 there and allow authorities to conduct case tracking from house-to-house.

Mr Ismail said a medical base would also be set up in the area.

The government on March 26 imposed the first EMCO on two areas in Simpang Renggam constituency in Johor, after a cluster of Covid-19 cases were detected. This 14-day EMCO will last until April 9.

Malaysia on Sunday reported 150 new coronavirus cases, taking the total to 2,470 - the highest tally in South-east Asia.

The number of deaths from the virus outbreak rose by seven to 34, the health ministry said. The seven deaths is the highest recorded in a single day for the outbreak in Malaysia.

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