Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin arrives for a news conference to unveil his cabinet picks on March 9, 2020. (Photo: AP)
Bangkok (People’s Daily) - Malaysia ’s new Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said during a televised national address on Monday that due to the threat of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), a nationwide lockdown would go into effect beginning Wednesday and extend through March 31.
The move indicates a reset on immigration control measures prohibiting nationals from exiting the country and all foreign travelers from entering. Also, returning nationals will have to undergo 14 days of self-quarantine.
Public gatherings, including religious, sports, social, and cultural activities, will be prohibited.
"Places of worship and business premises must be closed, except for supermarkets, grocery stores, and convenience stores selling everyday necessities," Muhyiddin said.
The prime minister also said that schools and higher learning institutions would be closed.
“China has effectively controlled the spread of COVID-19. I hope you will be patient. Don't panic, don't be anxious and stay calm. I believe that these steps will help stop the spread of this virus,” urged Muhyiddin.
Malaysia reported 125 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the nationwide tally to 553.