Covid-19 – Movement Control Order in Malaysia and a Worldwide Pandemic
The government of Malaysia has also announced on 16 March 2020 that from 18 March to 31 March 2020, the entire country will be under a movement control.
In brief, the movement control includes:
- Prohibition of movement and mass assembly nationwide including all religious, sports, social and cultural activities.
- Malaysians will be barred from leaving the country and restrictions will be placed for entry of tourists and visitors into Malaysia.
- All nurseries, government and private schools, including boarding schools, international schools, tahfiz centres as well as primary, secondary and pre-university education institutions will be closed. This also includes all public and private universities as well as vocational training centres.
- Government and private premises would be closed except those providing essential services (water, electricity, energy, telecommunications, post, transportation, water services, oil, gas, fuel, broadcasting, financial, banking, health, pharmacy, the Fire and Rescue Department, prisons, ports, airports, security, defence, cleaning, retail and food supplies).
As at 16 March 2020, there are more than 170,000 confirmed cases, more than 6,500 deaths and 160 countries affected. While in Malaysia, as at 16 March 2020, there are now 566 confirmed cases of Covid-19. Malaysia now also has the highest number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asia region, with over 500 active cases.
Photo credit: outbreak.my as at 16 March 2020
How Does Covid-19 Spread?
There are two ways covid-19 can spread:
- person-to-person spread
The virus can spread between people who are in close contact with one another and through respiratory droplets produced by infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets may land on the mouths and noses of people nearby and inhaled in to the lungs, spreading the virus.
- spread from contact with contaminated surfaces
It may be possible to get covid-19 from touching a surface or object that has virus on it and then transferring the virus by touching own mouth, nose or eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
How to prevent Covid-19
1) Avoid visiting crowded places and large event gathering. Stay indoor!
As the main way for the virus to spread is through person-to-person. Try to avoid going out especially to crowded places, or big gatherings. If you do however, need to go out, for example, for work, purchase daily supplies, follow the below tips as advised by WHO to prevent and minimize risk of contracting covid-19 virus.
2) Wash your hands frequently!
Always try to wash your hands with soap and water after visiting a public place. Wash hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. Only in the absence of soap and water, wash the hands with alcohol-based hand rub or sanitizer.
If you are wondering whether using alcohol-based hand sanitizer is halal? According to this article from The Star and this Quora thread, as long as alcohol is not consumed directly, it should be halal to use.
3) Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Our hands may touch surfaces that can pick up viruses. Our hands can transfer the virus to our eyes, nose and mouth and from there, the virus can enter the body. If you do need to touch your eyes, nose and mouth, make sure to wash your hands first with soap and water or with hand sanitizer.
4) Maintain social distancing, avoid handshake and contact with other people
When someone coughs or sneezes, we may breathe in the droplets that contain the virus. So it is advisable to maintain at least 1 meter distance between yourself and people who is coughing or sneezing. Always avoid crowded places, if we need to travel by train for example, try to take them at off-peak hours (earlier in the morning or later in the evening).
We should also avoid handshake, hugs or any body or close contact with other people. Amid the virus outbreak, people are creative in greetings, some greeting include the Wakanda greeting and the footshake.
5) Practice respiratory hygiene, wear a mask especially if you are sick
If we need to cough or sneeze, make sure to cover the mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue. Then dispose the used tissue immediately.
If you are sick, wear a face mask when you are around other people or when you visit a healthcare provider.
Should we wear masks if we are not sick? Masks are effective at catching droplets which is the main transmission route of coronavirus but it is not a foolproof way to prevent the virus. If you are likely to be in close contact with someone infected, a mask helps to reduce the risk of the disease being passed on. Wearing a mask also helps to prevent direct contact of hand with nose and mouth. However, we suggest to refrain from bulk-buying a huge supply of masks as the frontliners and those who are sick need the masks more.
6) Bring along a small bottle of sanitizer in your pocket
As soap and water are not always available, it is a good idea to bring along a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your pocket with you. For example, if you need to touch your face, you can clean your hands first using hand sanitizer thoroughly before touching the face.
7) Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
This includes disinfecting tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
Some examples of United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved disinfectants are listed here.
8) Seek help if you are feeling unwell!
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. So far the only way to get tested in government hospital is if the Ministry of Health have identified you as a close contact to the infected people to get tested.
If you however, experience any symptoms or have been in close contact with infected people or if you have any questions, you can contact our Ministry of Health at the contact details below:
Hotline: 03 – 888 10200, 03 – 888 10600, 03 – 888 10700
9) Keep yourself updated with the latest news and updates on the virus.
Here are some helpful links to keep yourself updated:
- Malaysiakini Covid-19 tracker:
includes patient info and the latest numbers and demographic breakdown of confirmed cases. It also includes FAQ for Covid-19.
includes latest numbers of confirmed cases as well as the latest local news on the virus.
- Coronavirus the base lab:
tracks the worldwide confirmed cases, deaths and recovered cases. Includes news and useful graphs on the virus.
There you go, those are some of the tips on how to stay healthy and have fun while staying indoor during this pandemic! Let’s keep calm and together we can fight this virus together!
During this pandemic, we are also having good hygiene practices in our office in Scentales. We give out free hand sanitizer and antibacterial hand wipes to our employees. We also disinfect our office daily and ensure there are always ample supply of soap and water for our employees.
Due to the government Movement Control Order, we are closed from 18 March to 31 March. For customers who purchase on other dates after this period, we will be giving out a small bottle of hand sanitizer with your order for free, while stocks last. You can visit our website to purchase. Together, we can win this battle against the Covid-19 virus. In the meantime, keep calm, stay safe and healthy!
Written by: Kyle