Following the surge of COVID-19 cases last month, Malaysia has activated the Movement Control Order (MCO) since 18 March 2020, effectively placing the country under lockdown. With the number of cases still rising daily, locations with a large number of cases have been placed on an Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO).

Since then, the country has also extended the duration of the MCO, pushing its end date back from 31 March 2020 to 14 April 2020. To help Malaysians overcome the difficult period, the Government has introduced two stimulus packages to date - the Prihatin package, valued at RM250bn, and the Prihatin Plus, which addsRM10bn to Prihatin Package for SMEs.

With the country reaching almost 4,000 cases, and as it nears the end of the MCO extension, questions have surfaced as to whether a further extension will be needed. New locations are also being placed under the stricter EMCO.

Here's what we know about the latest COVID-19 updates so far.


MOH will decide if a second MCO extension is needed on 10 April 2020

Malaysia's Ministry of Health (MOH) said it would decide if the movement control order (MCO) needs a second extension, on April 10.

In a report by Malay Mail, MOH director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that is the latest deadline for the MOH to decide on the matter.

In a press conference at the MOH headquarters on 4 April, he said: "We have to base it on science and facts. April 10 is the latest available (date) for us to make a decision whether we need to extend or not."

Dr Noor Hisham also justified the cause of the backlog of COVID-19 testing cases in healthcare facilities nationwide, saying that there will always be a backlog given that tests are ongoing and not all test results would be out at the reporting time of 12pm.

However, he noted that MOH has increased lab capacity together with the private medical sector, to address the issue, at 43 labs currently.


Selangor Mansion and Malayan Mansion buildings placed on EMCO

With 15 positive cases of COVID-19 confirmed at the Selangor Mansion and Malayan Mansion buildings on Jalan Masjid India, Kuala Lumpur, the Government has decided to execute the fourth directive of the EMCO.

This involves around 6,000 residents in 365 residential and commercial units in the buildings and has been in place since 7 April 2020, until all residents are screened for COVID-19.

The purpose of the EMCO is to curb the spread of COVID-19. This would also enable the authorities to trace cases, unit by unit throughout the EMCO period.

With the execution of this order:

  • All residents are prohibited from exiting the EMCO area throughout the duration of the EMCO.
  • All non-residents and visitors are prohibited from entering the area throughout the duration of the EMCO.
  • All business activities are to be closed, except for shops selling essential items in the buildings.
  • Residents are allowed to order food from delivery services, that should be delivered at the designated areas in the buildings.
  • A Medical Base will be set up in the EMCO area.
  • All entry and exit points of the EMCO will be sealed.
  • To ensure the compliance of the EMCO, Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM), Angkatan Pertahanan Awam Malaysia (APM) and Jabatan Sukarelawan Malaysia (RELA) will administer the EMCO area.

For the smooth execution of the EMCO, all residents are advised to remain calm and to give their full cooperation to the officers from MOH and to comply with the authorities’ instructions.

According to Bernama, prior to this, the EMCO was enforced in three areas: Simpang Renggam, Kluang, Johor; Sungai Lui, Hulu Langat, Selangor; and City One Tower, Jalan Munshi Abdullah.


Tesco to recruit 600 staff in due to increase in demand from COVID-19 and Hari Raya celebrations

To meet the unprecedented demand brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic as well as in anticipation of the upcoming Ramadan and Hari Raya celebration, Tesco Stores (Malaysia) is looking to recruit over 600 new colleagues for the next eight weeks.

In a press release, the firm stated that roles include store associates, cashiers, tesco online pickers and customer delivery assistants. No previous experience needed for full time, temporary and part-time roles.

Tesco's Head of People, Alvin Low, said: "The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a sharp increase in demand for food and household products. At Tesco, we are working around the clock to help ensure families have access to the shopping items they need. To help us step up and meet demand, we would like to bring in over 600 new colleagues to work in our stores for at least the next eight weeks."

He added that the staff will be placed across all of our 60 stores nationwide, as well as its grocery home shopping delivery service, Tesco Online.

“Ever since the Movement Control Order (MCO) was implemented, we have seen a huge surge of orders via Tesco Online and we need all the help we can get to serve our customers as best as we can,” he added.

Low also noted that with new colleagues coming on board, Tesco’s existing colleagues will be able to get enough rest and achieve better work-life balance during these challenging times.

The firm is looking for Malaysians aged 18 to 60, with a minimum of Sijil Pendidikan Malaysia (SPM) to fill the vacancies. As an equal opportunity employer, Tesco also welcomes those who are disabled to join the team.

To keep colleagues safe during COVID-19, Tesco has implemented various preventative measures such as temperature checks daily before work, face masks, hand sanitizers and insurance coverage after serving a stipulated amount of work hours.

Photo / iStock

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