Following a recent rise in cases of Covid-19, Malaysian officials have decided to reinstate the conditional movement control order (CMCO) as a precaution against further spread of the virus in four major areas. Under the temporary new controls, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Selangor and Sabah will be placed under partial lockdown from tomorrow until 27th October.
The news was confirmed on Monday (14/10) by Malaysian senior minister for security, Ismail Sabri Yaakob. According to the minister, the CMCO will prohibit cross-district travel, although most economic activities will still be allowed. Certain social behaviours will be restricted, including a rule that only two individuals are permitted to leave a house at any one time. The latest movement restrictions are expected to impact the lives of an estimated 7.6 million residents in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Selangor, with a further 3.5 million affected in Sabah on the island of Borneo.
The news comes following confirmation of several new clusters in the affected regions, totally 94 new cases of Covid-19. According to the minister, the decision to reinstate CMCO in these areas was taken in order to “prevent further spreading of the infection.” According to The Straits Times, Malaysia recorded 5,039 active cases on 12th October, with a total of 16,220 cumulative cases nationwide. To nip this new emergence in the bud, the Malaysian government is following the protocols of its ASEAN neighbours and shutting down travel around them in order to contain the spread.
A CMCO had already been in place nationwide in Malaysia up to 10th June, when this was scaled back to an RMCO (recovery movement control order), which allows virtually all businesses and social activities to proceed as normal. Beyond the areas mentioned above, the rest of Malaysia remains under RMCO.