Following the failure by the authorities to stop massive public gathering, Malaysia has now joined other nations to use lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Malaysian version is known as the 14-day Movement Control Order, which restricts public movements and gatherings.
From 18 March 2020 for two weeks, all houses of worship and business premises, except for supermarkets, public markets and convenient stores, will be closed.
All government and public premises will be closed except those involved in essential services such as water, electricity, energy, telecommunications, postal, transportation, irrigation, oil, gas, fuel, lubricants, broadcasting, finance, banking, health, pharmacy, fire, prison, port, airport, safety, defense, cleaning, retail and food supply.
Here we have a situation where the announcement has raised more questions than answers. Would foodservice outlets be allowed to remain open or they have to shut down but delivery service (eg DahMakan, GrabFood and Food Panda is allowed to function normally?
Can hawker stalls offer their own version of “drive through” where order and delivery can be done through the car window?
By keeping supermarkets, public markets and convenient stores opened, massive spreading of COVID-19 is still possible because there is no social distancing. Would the authorities require patrons to wear masks before going into these places?
Are there any measures from preventing people from holding small gathering or having an outing in the park or beach as people will have more time during the two-week lockdown.
Finally, are the authorities going to spend more effort to track down those, numbering well over 15,000, who attended the Islamic missionary gathering at a mosque in Seri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, from 27 February 2020 to 1 March 2020?