"Let me say this now, the situation might get even more difficult." <small> Cover image via New Straits Times Ferwahn Fairis/Facebook </small>
Everyone seems to already know that the Movement Control Order (MCO) will be extended until 14 April
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin broke the news during a special address at 1pm today, 25 March.<br></br></p>
However, here are other things you might have missed in the Prime Minister’s speech:
1. 95% of people are adhering to the Movement Control Order
On the first day it was enforced, only 60% of people complied with the restrictions. Last Sunday, the army was deployed to assist the police in monitoring the situation.
<p>Tan Sri Muhyiddin praised fellow Malaysians for abiding the order and keeping public places empty.
He said, “You follow my instruction. You know this is good for you, your family, and the people around you. Your awareness and sincerity in abiding the rules imposed by the government during this Movement Control Order period is highly commendable.”
2. The situation might get even more difficult
Tan Sri Muhyiddin noted that within one week, the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Malaysia doubled from 673 to a total of 1,796.
As of 12pm today, there were 172 new cases and 17 deaths.
He said, “Let me say this now, the situation might get even more difficult. COVID-19 is a pandemic we have never faced before. We never expected that our lives would change in a blink of an eye and it is all because of a disease that spread not only in our country, but everywhere around the world. We cannot be satisfied until we have reached the point where there are zero new cases.”
3. The Ministry of Health (MOH) has prepared 3,585 beds in 34 different hospitals across the country to accommodate COVID-19 patients
To this day, 34% of the hospital bed capacity has been used up. This leaves another 66% that could still support a number of patients.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin also mentioned that if the number of positive COVID-19 cases surpasses hospital capacity, MOH has identified several other locations that could be used as isolation and quarantine centres.
The ministry is also looking into carrying out mass testings at high-risk areas.</p> <p>"In other words, we want to prevent infections. This strategy could work if people are not exposed to the virus through daily interaction," the Prime Minister said.</p> <p>
4. The Movement Control Order period will be reviewed from time to time
Tan Sri Muhyiddin mentioned, "Just be mentally and physically prepared to stay at home for a reasonably longer period of time. If there is a need to extend the order again, I will announce it."
He also urged the public to stay calm and not panic as there are enough resources for everyone. He assured that there is enough food for everybody.
“I know you feel burdened but I don’t have a choice. I have to extend the Movement Control Order for your own safety,” he added.
5. An economic stimulus package will be announced this Friday, 27 March.
In addition to the policies already in place such as Employee Provident Fund (EPF) withdrawals and the National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) loan repayments suspension, the Prime Minister will be announcing an economic stimulus package on Friday, 27 March.
“My officers in the Ministry of Finance are working very hard to come up with an economic stimulus package that could benefit everyone,” he said.
“Whether you’re a taxi driver, a Grab driver, a farmer, a restaurant owner, a nasi lemak seller, a pisang goreng seller, a burger seller, a daily worker, the government will try our best to make sure everyone could profit from it. InsyaAllah, no one will be left behind.”
6. The Zakat Collection Centre of Federal Territories has been ordered to immediately identify groups that require financial aid
Tun Sri Muhyiddin said that during a Cabinet meeting today, he ordered the Religious Affairs Minister to deploy his team in order to identify those who need financial aid immediately.</p> <p>He also implored for other Zakat Collection Centres across the country to follow suit.
At the same time, he called for charity organisations to help the needy regardless of race or religion. He said, “The difficulties they are facing are unprecedented. And I believe all of you can do something meaningful to ease their burden.”
He further explained, “I realise that as a Prime Minister, it is my duty to watch over everybody’s welfare. It is the responsibility that I bear. But as an imperfect human being, I promise to try my best. InsyaAllah, God willing, we will be able to get through this together.”
Remember to #JustStayAtHome. Watch the latest update on the COVID-19 situation:
The Prime Minister announced the extension of the Movement Control Order (MCO) earlier:
<h3>You may be interested in:</h3>
All copyrights for this article are reserved to DIY