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Full lockdown in Malaysia from tomorrow

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Dennis Sylvester Hurd on Flickr
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From tomorrow, Malaysia goes into full lockdown in an attempt to flatten the curve of Covid-19 infections across the country. PM Muhyiddin Yassin had been resisting calls for a lockdown, saying he was trying to balance public health needs with economic recovery.

However, even some businesses in the country’s tourism sector have been pushing for tougher measures. Just hours before the PM announced the lockdown, the Malaysian Hotels Association called for all social and economic activities to be stopped for a 2-week period, with CEO Yap Lip Seng saying a long-term plan was needed to bring the crisis under control.

“The tourism and hotel industry is of the opinion that the government needs to implement stricter and more effective measures such as a total lockdown to control the spread as soon as possible.”

However, not all businesses in the tourism sector agree with the need for a total lockdown, with Nigel Wong from the Malaysian Association of Tour & Travel Agents saying there is a need to balance saving lives with saving livelihoods.

“Striking a balance between saving lives and saving livelihoods is crucial in order for the nation to continue its journey of recovery. The tourism sector is still a long way off from recovery and will not fully begin the recovery process until borders, both domestic and international, are reopened. MATTA has been calling for the government to come up with a tourism recovery roadmap. Of course, no one can foretell the future. Still, such a guideline will help the industry make strategic plans and preparations and align their recovery efforts to that of the government.”

The total lockdown comes as the country set a grim record of over 8,000 new cases reported on Friday. A full “Phase 1” lockdown of social and economic sectors is now being implemented until June 14. Only essential services are permitted to operate during this time, with the situation being reviewed in 2 weeks.

SOURCE: TTR Weekly

 

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