Govt Tightens MCO: Nationwide Bans On Ramadan Bazaars, Barbers, And Students Going Home

The Defence Minister said this is to prevent mass movement that may result in new COVID-19 clusters.

Cover image via Bernama/Malay Mail & Farhan Najib/Malay Mail

No barber shops, hair salons, and optical shops - even in COVID-19 green zones - will be allowed to operate throughout the extended Movement Control Order (MCO)

In the daily national security press conference today, 13 April, Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has decided to retract the government's initial approval for these additional sectors to operate for the rest of the MCO.

"We are aware the decision to allow hair salons and barbershops to operate has been an issue in the last few days," he said, according to The Star.

"The government listens to the people and in line with this, the Prime Minister has decided not to allow these businesses to operate throughout the MCO."

In line with that, the Prime Minister has also decided to not allow Ramadan bazaars to operate for as long as the MCO stands

According to New Straits Times, Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the blanket ban was imposed after further deliberation and consideration of feedback from the public, health authorities, and non-governmental organisations.

He added that university students will also not be allowed to leave their campuses.

However, he assured that their welfare and meals will be the responsibility of the government until the MCO ends.

Ismail Sabri Yaakob said all these decisions were made in hopes of breaking the COVID-19 chain of infection

He explained that the moves are aimed at preventing mass movement that would be hard to monitor by the police and may result in new clusters.

"I hope the people and the students understand why these decisions were made. It is to safeguard the interest and safety of everyone," he said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has announced 134 new COVID-19 cases and one new death today

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham said this brings the cumulative total of cases in Malaysia to 4,817, and the number of coronavirus-related deaths in the country to 77.

The patient who passed away was a 62-year-old man who was being treated in Melaka Hospital. He had a medical history of high blood pressure as well as heart and kidney disease.

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On Friday, 10 April, it was initially announced that these additional sectors would be allowed to operate during the extended MCO:

Instead of Ramadan bazaars, the Federal Territories Minister has introduced new approaches to help hawkers sell food and drinks:

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