Malaysia may deploy soldiers to enforce order against COVID-19 hinh anh 1People in Kualar Lumpur, Malaysia, wear face masks (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA)
– Only 60 percent of Malaysians complied with the movement control order (MCO) that came into effect on March 18 to cope with the COVID-19 outbreak, Freemalaysiatoday reported.

If the situation remains out of control, even when the level of compliance stands at 70 percent, most likely the army will be mobilised, Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob told the press on March 19.

Malaysia is restricting movement and mass gatherings from March 18-31 to limit the spread of the disease.

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on March 18 called for public cooperation and compliance, and warned that the order could be extended if the outbreak is not contained.

Regarding the 16,000 people who participated in a mass religious gathering at a mosque in Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, from February 27 to March 1, Malaysian Health Director General Noor Hisham Abdullah said on March 19 that the country has so far traced 10,650 of the attendees, with 513 testing positive for the virus so far.

Malaysian authorities have urged other participants to step forward to undergo health checks by the Health Ministry.

Meanwhile, The Star reported that China on March 19 began to send medical supplies to help Malaysia in the fight against COVID-19, with the first batch, including ventilators, face masks, test kits and sanitiser, sent to Sungai Buloh Hospital.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia has risen to 790 as of late March 18, with two deaths and 60 having recovered./.