M'sia extends movement control order restrictions for another 3 months as Covid-19 rages on

The country reported a record high of 2,525 Covid-19 cases on Dec. 31, 2020.

Kayla Wong | January 01, 2021, 07:24 PM

Malaysia has extended its national recovery movement control order (RMCO) for three more months till Mar. 31, Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced on Friday, Jan. 1.

Ismail said the extension was due to the high number of active Covid-19 cases, especially among foreign workers, Free Malaysia Today reported.

The RMCO was originally scheduled to end on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020.

International tourism will remain prohibited, in addition to the continued closure of venues such as bars and nightclubs, The Malaysian Insight reported Health Minister Adham Baba as saying.

Activities where safe distancing is difficult are also prohibited.

The minister added that those who violate the rules can be fined up to RM1,000 (S$328), jailed for up to six months, or both.

2,525 cases reported on New Year's Eve

The extension comes as the Covid-19 outbreak in the country continues.

Malaysia reported a new record high of 2,525 Covid-19 cases in a single day on Dec. 31, 2020, The Edge Markets reported.

About half of the number of cases (1,205) were reported from Selangor, followed by 299 cases from Sabah, 239 cases from Melaka, and 222 cases from Kuala Lumpur.

Eight more deaths were reported as well, bringing the total death toll so far to 471.

Meanwhile, the number of patients receiving intensive care remained unchanged from the previous day's count of 131.

Previously, the Malaysian government had extended the conditional MCO, which has stricter rules than the RMCO, in many places to Jan. 14, 2021.

Travelling from an area under conditional MCO to another, or to an area under RMCO, is not prohibited, according to Malaysiakini.

This means inter-district and inter-state travels are still allowed.

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Top image by Chong Voon Chung/Xinhua via Getty Images