Malaysia declared a nationwide lockdown for 2 weeks to control a persistent surge in covid cases.
It means that from June 1-14, only essential economic and service sectors will be allowed to function. As per the statement given by the Prime Minister’s Office, the government will soon announce an aid package for those who will be affected by the new rules.
The number of covid cases are rising rapidly in the country. On Saturday, the tally of new cases crossed 9,000 which the government had never expected to reach until next month.
The virus outbreak became worse in Malaysia due to the emergence of new virus variant. The country’s healthcare system is in stress which prompted the government to create tough restrictions.
About 3% of Malaysia’s population is fully vaccinated. But the government aims to achieve mass immunity by year-end as vaccine supplies improve.
Key Points –
- Plantations and commodity sectors will be allowed to operate.
- Restaurants and cafés can remain open but dining-in is strictly banned.
- Manufacturing-related sectors, such as firms that produce aerospace parts and food and beverages, can run with 60% workforce.
- Movement has been restricted to within a 10-kilometer radius. Moreover, only two people per household may go out to buy supplies, while a maximum of 3 people can step out for medical emergency reasons.
- The government plans to re-open economic sectors in the second phase of the lockdown if infections decline. This second phase will last for four weeks.
- Sectors that don’t involve large gatherings and where physical distancing is possible will only be allowed to reopen in the second phase.
- If the second phase succeeds, the movement control order that is currently in place will be imposed. While social activities aren’t permitted, nearly all economic sectors will be allowed to operate subject to a cap on physical presence at the workplace.
Last year, a similar lockdown cost Malaysia 2.4 billion ringgit a day. Thus, the economy posted its slowest growth in decades in January-March quarter.