By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA (AA) - Malaysia on Wednesday extended anti-coronavirus measures by another two weeks, until April 14, to stem the spread of the deadly infection, local media reported.
“The second phase of the Movement Control Order [MCO], which begins today, is a critical period for Malaysians to determine whether efforts to break the COVID-19 chain of infection are successful or not,” reported state-run Bernama news agency.
The government has asked people to adhere strictly to the measures taken against the coronavirus.
Malaysia has so far confirmed 2, 908 cases of the coronavirus, with 45 fatalities. As many as 645 people have also recovered from this disease.
Under the second phase of MCO, the government asked all business premises selling daily essentials, including supermarkets and petrol stations, stalls, restaurants, and food delivery services to operate from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. only.
Besides, extending movement control measures, the government on Wednesday also rolled out “economic stimulus package” to support businesses and ease the economic burden on people due to the pandemic.
In Selangor province, the local government cut salaries of state executive council, members of the local assembly and senior civil servants in its efforts to fight the COVID-19, Chief Minister Amirudin Shari said.
Earlier, the government had implemented the first phase of MCO on March 18.
Malaysians returning home from abroad will be put under quarantine for 14 days effective from next Friday.
After originating in Wuhan last December, the virus has spread to at least 180 countries and regions across the world, with its epicenter shifting to Europe, while China has largely come out of the crisis.
The virus has killed more than 42,400 people and infected over 862,000 globally, while some 178,800 people recovered from the disease, according to figures collated by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.