COVID-19: Malaysia orders movement control hinh anh 1Measuring body temperature at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (Source: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced on late March 16 that the entire country will be on a movement control order starting from March 18-31 to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Muhyiddin said the decision was made under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and the Police Act 1967.

Following the decision, all places of worship and business premises must be closed except for supermarkets, public markets, grocery stores, and stores selling basic necessities, he stated, adding that all religious activities in mosques and surau will be suspended in line with the Special Muzakarah Council's decision on March 15.

Malaysians will be barred from leaving the country and restrictions placed on the entry of all tourists and foreigners into Malaysia.

Muhyiddin added that government and private premises would be closed, except those providing essential services, such as water, electricity, energy, telecommunications, post, transportation, oil, gas, fuel, broadcasting, finance, banking, health, pharmacy, fire and rescue, security, defence, cleaning, retail and food supplies, along with prisons, ports and airports.

Meanwhile, Indonesian President Joko Widodo asserted that imposing a lockdown was not in the works for Indonesia or any of its 34 provinces, in the context that the disease has spread to at least eight localities, with 134 infection cases, including five fatalities.

He stressed that issuing a lockdown policy, either at the national or regional level, is under the authority of the central government and such a policy cannot be issued by regional administrations.

He asked citizens to practice “social distancing” by maintaining a distance of at least 2 metres to minimise close contact.

In other developments, Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith on March 16 ordered the closure of all nurseries and kindergartens nationwide, starting from March 17 to the end of the country’s New Year holiday (April 13-16).

He also decided to temporarily close auxiliary border gates with neighbouring countries to focus on international border gates which have full modern equipment to prevent the SARS-CoV-2 from entering Laos./.