Sarawak extends MCO to April 14

Abang Johari (centre) speaking at the press conference today (March 26, 2020). He is flanked by Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah (left) and Tan Sri James Masing.
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KUCHING, March 26: In line with the move by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to extend the movement control order (MCO) period to April 14, Sarawak has also followed suit to extend the period of MCO to April 14.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg made the announcement during a press conference at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here this afternoon.

“In view of the extended Movement Control Order (MCO) for another two weeks until April 14, I am seeking the cooperation of all Sarawakians to abide by the MCO to stay indoors.

“If we abide strictly with the MCO there is a good possibility that we can contain the Covid-19 in view of the fact that we are separated from Peninsular Malaysia by the South China Sea that should give us the advantage to stop the chain of infections.”

He noted that the number of Covid-19 cases in the state has stabilised.

Thus, he believed that there is a possibility that after 14 days, the number of new Covid-19 positive cases will be reduced.

On March 16, Abang Johari announced several control measures to prevent the escalation of Covid-19 cases in Sarawak.

Among them, he instructed that all schools in Sarawak extend their school holidays for another week until March 29.

All Tabika, Taska (preschools and child care centres) and Sekolah Tahfiz in Sarawak will need to be closed from two weeks effective March 17 while both public and private institutions of higher learning are to defer their academic sessions by two weeks from March 17.

The chief minister also advised all public functions involving more than 50 people be postponed or cancelled until further notice.

Meanwhile, all public sports facilities including swimming pools, stadiums and gymnasiums are to be closed from March 17 until further notice.

On March 22, the state government urged businesses including hypermarkets and food and beverage (F&B) outlets to stop their operations after 7pm from March 24 to March 31. With the recent extension, this period has also been extended to April 14.

Meanwhile, Muhyiddin yesterday announced that the MCO period would be extended to April 14 from March 31.

He explained the extension was needed due to the sharp increase in Covid-19 cases over the preceeding days and that the federal government expects to register more new Covid-19 cases in the coming days.

“With the implementation of MCO, we have managed to control the outbreak by a fair bit but we will not be satisfied until we achieve zero new cases.

“This means, movement of people must continue to be restricted. The government’s strategy is to find, screen, isolate and treat the Covid-19 patients,” Muhyiddin said when addressing the nation in a press conference yesterday.

Muhyiddin acknowledged that the MCO has burdened the people but said he had no choice but to extend it for the people’s safety. — DayakDaily