Coronavirus outbreak

Malaysians scramble as order restricting movement kicks in

Many left unaware of details till hours before 2-week shutdown of non-essential businesses

Shoppers at a supermarket in Karak, Malaysia, on March 17, 2020. Long queues were still seen at supermarkets as people stockpiled essentials, even though PM Muhyiddin had explicitly said supermarkets would stay open.
Shoppers at a supermarket in Karak, Malaysia, on March 17, 2020. Long queues were still seen at supermarkets as people stockpiled essentials, even though PM Muhyiddin had explicitly said supermarkets would stay open.PHOTO: AFP

A sudden weekend spike saw Malaysia's coronavirus case count nearly treble to 553, prompting Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday to order a nationwide restriction of movement from today until March 31.

The order came just a day before the worst-hit country in South-east Asia announced its first deaths from the crisis - that of a 60-year-old pastor in Sarawak and a 34-year-old man in Johor.

Please or to continue reading the full article.

Get unlimited access to all stories at $0.99/month

  • Latest headlines and exclusive stories
  • In-depth analyses and award-winning multimedia content
  • Get access to all with our no-contract promotional package at only $0.99/month for the first 3 months*

*Terms and conditions apply.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2020, with the headline 'Malaysians scramble as order restricting movement kicks in'. Subscribe