Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Covid-19 curve still rises under Malaysian lockdown

Southeast Asia's worst virus-hit nation extends a nationwide lockdown as Covid-19 infection rate continues to climb

Confirmed Covid-19 infections have more than doubled in Malaysia since unprecedented nationwide restrictions on movement went into effect on March 18, shuttering non-essential businesses and bringing military patrols onto the nation’s streets.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced today (March 25) that his government’s Movement Control Order (MCO) would be extended to April 14, two weeks beyond its initial March 31 cut-off date.

Foreign and interstate travel is banned under the order, and people may only leave their homes for essential shopping, which has brought the economy to a near standstill. Police have so far arrested 110 people for flouting the order.

The trend of new coronavirus infections “is expected to continue for a while before new cases begin to subside,” said the premier in a televised address. Malaysia has confirmed 1,796 cases of the disease, the highest number in Southeast Asia, while the death toll stands at 19, second only to Indonesia, where 58 have died.

Read the full story at Asia Times.

Nile Bowie is a journalist and correspondent with the Asia Times covering current affairs in Singapore and Malaysia. He can be reached at