Malaysia aims to impose MCO only in targeted areas to reduce economic damage: PM Muhyiddin

The authorities will impose movement control order only on localities with high Covid-19 infections.
The authorities will impose movement control order only on localities with high Covid-19 infections.PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia will aim to avoid imposing countrywide and state-wide movement curbs going forward, to reduce their big impact on economic activities, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Wednesday (March 17).

The authorities will instead impose the movement control order (MCO) only to localities with high Covid-19 infections, he said in a speech telecast live on television and on social media platforms.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin also announced a slew of government grants, subsidies and economic programmes worth RM20 billion (S$6.5 billion) to stimulate the economy.

The country is accelerating its vaccination programme, and now aims to achieve herd immunity - with 80 per cent of its population vaccinated - by December this year, he said.

This compares to an earlier target to reach herd immunity by the end of the first quarter of next year, Mr Muhyiddin said.

The authorities said 364,508 people have been vaccinated at the end of Tuesday, three weeks after the vaccination programme started on February 24.

"Taking into account the implementation of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, the government may no longer need to impose large-scale MCOs that involve the entire country or state.

"Instead, movement control will only be imposed based on locality and focused on the relevant clusters," he said.

The new package announced on Tuesday is a fraction of the RM250 billion stimulus package dished out by the government under the first MCO announced last March. There was also an additional RM15 billion stimulus announced in January.