KUALA LUMPUR, 21 January — The Malaysian government decided to extend the movement control order (MCO) in Penang, Selangor, Johor, Sabah, Melaka, Kelantan, Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur and Labuan until 4 February 2021.
Senior minister for security Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the decision was due to the spike in Covid-19 positive cases in the past 14 days from 7 – 20 January.
He said most districts in these states were considered red zones because of the high numbers of Covid-19 cases.
“Following the recommendation by the Ministry of Health, the National Security Council special meeting agreed to extend the MCO in these states until 4 February”, he said during a national broadcast.
The six states, along with the three federal territories have been placed under MCO since Jan 13, one day before the country entered a state of emergency to curb the rise in Covid-19 cases, a decision that was criticised by the opposition as a move by Prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin to hold onto power after losing the majority in the Parliament.
The movement control order was deemed to end on 26 January. Still, the first week of the MCO showed no results as the country continued to record big numbers of daily cases, reaching over 4,000 daily cases on 16 January and a total of 172,549 on 21 January.