Malaysia's MCO 3.0: How a third Covid-19 lockdown has impacted daily life

A third surge of Covid-19 infections has prompted Malaysia’s government to impose another shutdown this week, amid public outcry that it has mismanaged the crisis.

The Straits Times looks at the Covid-19 response in Malaysia so far and its impact on daily life.


As confusion reigns, Malaysia still chasing effective Covid-19 response

This time last year, Malaysia began to reintroduce social activities while interstate travel came a month later, after what was heralded as a swift and effective response to the pandemic.

But in recent days, the country recorded the highest mortality rate so far of 170 in a week, and breached 600 intensive care unit patients for the first time since the outbreak began.

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No Hari Raya breather for Malaysia's Covid-19 front-liners amid record admissions

As most Malaysians this week celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri under lockdown for a second consecutive year, a core group of workers battling the Covid-19 pandemic are looking at little or no breather.

Record admissions in recent weeks threaten to overwhelm the healthcare system - with warnings issued to doctors that the worst is "yet to come".

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Poor families at risk with no relief under Malaysia's third Covid-19 lockdown

Malaysia's announcement of a third movement control order (MCO) left Madam Noriah Kamindu in no mood for Hari Raya celebrations. The lockdown is likely to block her jobless husband's route to employment.

Like millions of Malaysians who are categorised as B40 - the bottom 40 per cent of income earners - Madam Noriah's husband, the sole breadwinner in the family, relies on daily wages as a labourer, and will be among the group that will be most impacted by the imposition of another lockdown. Madam Noriah, 36, is a housewife and the couple have five children, three of them of a school-going age.

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Lengthy family separation for Malaysians in Singapore

He had plans to return to Malaysia in July to attend his sister's wedding and to get married as well. But Mr Akmal Amril now doubts he can do so because the rising Covid-19 cases in both Singapore and his home country has led to tighter border curbs.

Preparations for both weddings are already under way and he was looking forward to returning home to Johor Baru for at least two months, said the factory worker, whose wedding is scheduled to take place in August. Now, the plans are up in the air due to the costs and time involved in undergoing quarantine in both countries.

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