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MCO 2.0 Trends Online As Anxious Malaysians Await PM’s Announcement

MCO 2.0 Trends Online As Anxious Malaysians Await PM’s Announcement

Anxiety runs high as Malaysians fear the implementation of another MCO.

Tasneem Nazari

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Malaysians are feeling restless as they await Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s address on the Covid-19 situation in Malaysia today, said to take place at 6 pm.

In the past few days, it has been widely speculated that the government is planning on putting some states in the country back under a lockdown, and Malaysians are anxious to learn if Muhyiddin will make the drastic decision.

MCO 2.0 has been trending on Malaysian social media since this morning.

Four-digit new infections recorded on a daily basis

The country has been recording four-digit increases in new infections on a daily basis since 10 December 2020.

Graph showing the pattern of new reported Covid-19 cases on a daily basis in Malaysia. (Credit: Outbreak.my)

In the past week alone, new infections have been above 2,000-cases daily and Malaysia hit record high numbers two days in a row – 2,593 cases on 6 January, and 3,021 new cases on 7 January.

The Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has also warned that we may be looking at around 8,000 Covid-19 cases being reported daily in March if the R0 increases to 1.2. 

Malaysia’s current R0 value is at 1.1.

READ MORE: Health DG: “I Fear The Worst Is Yet To Come”, As Covid-19 Deaths Continue To Increase

He also recently admitted that our healthcare system was struggling to cope with the number of Covid-19 patients, saying the system was near a “breaking point” as the number of active cases continues to rise.

Rumours of an MCO 2.0 widely shared on social media

Speculations arose after drafts claiming to be of the government’s preparation and planned standard operating procedures (SOP) were widely circulated online.

The government denied the authenticity of the documents and Senior Minister (Defence) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob also urged Malaysians not to believe such rumours.

However, even his remarks on Saturday (9 January) fuelled speculation after he mentioned that the government would give the people time to prepare for any decision that was made.

Even Ismail Sabri’s remarks didn’t help to quell the anxiety. (Credit: Malay Mail)

Whatever the decision, it will not be enforced with immediate effect, time will be given (to prepare) perhaps two, three days or more.

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Senior Minister (Defence) during his press conference on 9 January

READ MORE: Will CMCO Be Extended? Malaysians Frustrated Over Consistently Last-Minute Announcements

The announcement of Muhyiddin’s address have also caused the speculations to amplify, and people have reportedly already started panic buying at supermarkets today.

Panicked Malaysians even picked at the visual announcing the Prime Minister’s address, noticing the phrase “Perlaksanaan Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan”, which translates to “Implementation of Movement Control Order”.

Though, it might be important to note that technically Malaysia is still under a form of MCO – specifically called Recovery MCO (RMCO) or Conditional (CMCO) in some states.

Health Ministry Proposed An Inter-District Travel Ban

The Health Ministry has already proposed a plan to control the further transmission of the virus. (Credit: Malay Mail)

Meanwhile, responding to the record-level daily increase in cases, the Health Ministry has actually already proposed stricter SOPs, such as restricting cross-district and state travel.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Adham Baba mentioned that new cases of recent involve inter-district and inter-state travel, and social gatherings, adding that the government is refining and evaluating the actions that need to be taken to control the further transmission of the virus.

READ MORE: MOH Proposes Temporary Ban On Inter-District, State Travel To Curb Spread Of Covid-19

Yesterday, Malaysia recorded 2,451 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number of active cases to 26,185. On top of that, 5 more deaths were reported, bringing the death toll to 542.


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