KUALA LUMPUR • Major Malaysian cities including its capital Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru and Shah Alam are being placed under the Movement Control Order (MCO) as the government battles to tame the resurgent coronavirus.
Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said yesterday the federal territory of Kuala Lumpur that encompasses the capital city and Johor's state capital Johor Baru will be placed under the MCO for 14 days from tomorrow.
He had announced on Tuesday that six of the nine districts in Selangor, including one in which state capital Shah Alam is located, will be placed under a 12-day MCO from today.
Datuk Seri Ismail said the Health Ministry had presented a report on the Covid-19 situation in Kuala Lumpur where from April 1 to 27, 17 new clusters were recorded. The number of daily cases also saw a rise in infections in the territory.
"After reviewing the situation and following a proposal by the Health Ministry, the government has agreed to place the entire Kuala Lumpur under MCO from May 7 to 20," he said yesterday.
He also announced that several localities in Johor, Perak and Terengganu states will be placed under the MCO from tomorrow to May 20.
These districts are Johor Baru, Kulai and Kota Tinggi (in Johor); Taiping, Larut Matang and Selama (in Perak) and parts of Terengganu's Besut district.
Officials have indicated that to avoid further damaging the economy and causing job losses, the government would not impose statewide MCO but lockdowns in smaller areas.
The government imposed the MCO from March to May last year to all of Malaysia, and to most states between mid-January to mid-February this year.
The country is struggling to curb the third wave of infections since late last year.
Malaysia yesterday logged 3,744 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 424,376. There were 17 more deaths, taking total fatalities to 1,591. Officials have warned that the rise in infections in recent weeks is straining the healthcare system.
The fresh MCO, dubbed MCO 3.0 by the media, include curbs such as banning dine-ins, with food prepared only for delivery and takeaways.
Meanwhile, the prolonged ban on travelling between Malaysian states has led to state borders becoming a gathering point for children who have not met their parents for months.
Many described the meetings, which lasted between five minutes to half an hour, as better than nothing and shared the precious moments on various social media platforms.
Inter-state travel has been banned since January.
Discus thrower Nur Nadiatul Farisya Muhammad Mahiri, who is undergoing training in Perlis, met up with her parents in mid-April at the Kedah-Perlis border, where many police roadblocks had been set up.
"I've missed my parents terribly. I can't return to Kedah and my parents cannot enter Perlis, so we decided to meet at the border," she posted on video social media platform TikTok.
Another Malaysian, Mr Amir Affendi, shared a video on Twitter on Monday of his meet-up with his siblings at the Perak-Selangor border. In a touching video, his eldest brother was seen handing him Malay cakes as they hugged.
For Ms Nurul Izzah Ramli, her preparation for Hari Raya Aidilfitri was what made her meet up with her tailor at the Kelantan-Terengganu border.
In a TikTok video, the 23-year-old was seen receiving her tailor-made Raya attire at the border, separated by barricades and barbed wire.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK