MCO Phase 4: Govt loosens travel restrictions

Prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin today announced the extension of the Movement Control Order (MCO), until 12 May 2020. While he is pleased at the positive results of the ongoing MCO, he stressed that the “war is not over.”

With the substantial drop in positive cases, now down to two digits per day, he hopes with the continued efforts of the frontliners and the people adhering to the MCO, that new cases of COVID-19 will be reduced to a minimum.

Credit to the medical frontliners, the recovery rate of Malaysian cases has been encouraging—63.2 per cent or 3,452 patients, which is one of the highest in the world.

The prime minister hopes this trend continues and the government has decided to loosen some restrictions of the MCO. “A little loosening. Not too much,” the PM insisted in his special address.

Firstly, the government is allowing students who are still in their campuses to return home soon. The process of facilitating the return of these students is still under planning with the advice of the Ministry of Health.

As it involves almost 100,000 students, the governments needs to ensure the orderly movement of these students and to not risk infection. Before these students are allowed home, they must be healthy and free of COVID-19 infection. The relevant ministry will be making an announcement on this soon.

Secondly, for those stuck in their hometowns and need to return to their homes, the government is mulling over granting a one-time travel access. This is limited to those “trapped” in their hometowns or elsewhere before the enforcement of the first phase of the MCO.

The government, in consultation with the health ministry, is studying the best way to facilitate the anticipated mass movement of people. As announced by the defence ministry earlier, those affected can apply for a travel-pass online via the Gerak Malaysia app or make an appointment to register at the nearest police station. The Gerak Malaysia app is a COVID-19 contact tracing app developed by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the Royal Malaysian Police’s (PDRM).

Details about the matter will be announced by the government soon.

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Vernon is the founder and chief editor of A graphic designer by profession, he has a deep love for technology, cars, gadgets, food, and travel. He tweets too much and is also known as a caffeine bacterium ("life's too short for bad coffee"). Bleeds Blue (go Chelsea FC!) and considers BMW, Porsche, Alfa Romeo cars to have in the garage--for true petrolheads, that is.

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