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Coronavirus: Malaysia to ease some restrictions on Monday 4th May

Coronavirus: Malaysia to ease some restrictions on Monday 4th May

KUALA LUMPUR – Almost all Malaysian economic sectors will be reopened from Monday (May 4) but they must abide by strict conditions, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Friday (May 1), as the country relaxes its movement curbs after more than six weeks of a partial lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“After holding a meeting (with relevant agencies), we are ready to open up the economy,” he said in a televised address on May Day. Malaysia first imposed the movement control order (MCO) on March 18.

“Beginning May 4, almost all economic sectors will be allowed to open with conditions. This is important as business and work is a source of income. If we are under MCO for too long, we will not get any income and this will have a bad impact on your finances,” he added.

Economic sectors that involve large gatherings of people will still remain shut. he said.

The Prime Minister said South-east Asia’s third biggest economy suffered RM2.4 billion (S$800 million) in losses daily during the MCO, with total losses currently estimated at RM63 billion. And another RM35 billion will have to be added to this should the MCO be extended.

“I realise you are all worried. I am worried too, and in some nations too, when the lockdown ended, the number of Covid-19 positive cases increased exponentially.

“We must find ways to balance between healing the nation’s economy and addressing Covid-19.

“Based on advice from the Ministry of Health and based on collected data, and the best practice guide stipulated by the World Health Organization, the government has decided to reopen economic sectors cautiously, by implementing stringent health standard operating procedures, beginning May 4,” he said.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin announced the cautious  reopening after Malaysia on Thursday (April 30) reported 16 consecutive days of double-digit new coronavirus cases, a far cry from triple-digit new cases a day in March and early April.

Additionally, Malaysia has also recorded a high patient recovery rate of 69.5 per cent.

The Health Ministry’s director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah on Tuesday (April 28) said that Malaysia is now in a “recovery phase” of the outbreak as recovered patients have outnumbered new cases.

The “conditional MCO” bars Malaysians from joining activities involving body contact such as football, rugby, swimming at public pools, religious mass gatherings and Ramadan food bazaars.

News source – The Straits Times

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