(Updated)

Govt announces 14-day total lockdown of social and economic sectors nationwide from June 1

Govt announces 14-day total lockdown of social and economic sectors nationwide from June 1
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KUALA LUMPUR (May 28): Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today announced the first phase of a full closure of the social and economic sectors for 14 days beginning Tuesday, June 1

The total lockdown was decided after a special session of the National Security Council (MKN) on Covid-19 management today.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in a statement said that throughout the period, all sectors are not allowed to operate except the essential services and economic sectors which will be identified later by MKN.

This comes after the country reported more than 8,000 new daily Covid-19 cases today, with active cases surpassing the 70,000 level.

“To date, a total of 2,552 people have died as a result of the pandemic and the number of deaths is increasing.

“The existence of new and more aggressive variants with high and rapid infectivity rates also influenced today’s decision,” the statement said.

The PMO also warned that hospitals’ capacity throughout the country is being fully utilised at the moment.  

“If this lockdown phase one is successful, the Government will then implement a second phase lockdown by allowing the reopening of some sectors in the economy that does not involve large gatherings as well as adhering to physical distancing.

“The second phase of lockdown will be implemented for a period of four weeks after phase one is over,” the statement read.

The PMO also said that if the second phase succeeds, the country will then embark into phase three which is similar to the current Movement Control Order 3.0 whereby social activities are not allowed but almost all economic sectors are allowed to operate with strict SOPs together with limited physical presence in the workplace.

“However, the decision to move from one phase to another will be subjected to risk assessment by the Ministry of Health (MoH).

“Evaluation will be made based on the current daily Covid-19 cases and hospital capacity across the country in treating Covid-19 patients,” the PMO said.

The statement said the Government will ensure that the national health system will not collapse and various support and assistance will be given to MoH to increase hospital capacity in the whole country.

“The Government will also expedite the vaccination programme over the next few weeks as part of its efforts to produce herd immunity,” it said.  

Following the announcement, the Government said the Ministry of Finance will detail assistance packages to the people and affected economic sectors in the near future.

“All Malaysians are advised to remain disciplined and always adhere to SOPs in order for us to break the Covid-19 chain.

“It is best to just stay at home in order for us to flatten the Covid-19 infections curve,” the PMO said.

S Kanagaraju