A Year Later, Malaysia is Still Struggling With Covid-19

It’s been a whole year since Covid-19 first touched down on Malaysia soil, the first of many that started with three members of a family from China, a woman and her two grandchildren from Wuhan that had made the short trip to Malaysia from Singapore.

Fast forward 365 days later, it seems that we’ve seen ups and downs of various severities while we’re currently in one of the many downs – the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) itself yet once more.

The Covid-19 pandemic had spiralled out of control; back in October 2020, the record total daily new cases was 1,240 and a conditional movement control order (CMCO) imposed in Sabah and parts of Klang Valley.

It wasn’t until February and March when local clusters began to surface and breached the 2,000 mark with active cases.

Today the record high daily new cases is four times that amount, 4,275 that was recorded on the 23rd of January and of course MCO 2.0 as well.

March: Movement Control Order (MCO)

PERAK 20-03-2020. Police performed road block at Jalan Kuala Kangsar here following the movement control order tu curb the spread of Covid-19 infection.MALAY MAIL/Farhan Najib

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced a nationwide movement control order on March 13th with it intended to curb the spread and enforce social distancing guidelines. By the 16 , it

was made known to the public that MCO would be in effect from the 18th until the 31st of March, it was then extended for an additional two weeks until April 14thfollowing a still constant number of high cases between the 100 and 200 mark. It was later further pushed until the April 28th and to May 12th consequently.

Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO)

After a majority of days with cases staying below the 100 mark, a conditional movement control order (CMCO) was implemented which allowed business to re-open under strict standard operating procedures (SOP).

June: An all-time low of cases leading to RMCO

MOHD SAHAR MISNI/The Star

After recording an all-time low of 2 new cases at that time on June 10th , it was decided that it was time that the nation move into recovery mode, a recovery movement control order (RMCO) that was to expire on August 31 . It was then extended until December 31st with selected sectors remained closed and travel restrictions from external countries.

July, August: A stagnantly reassuring and quiet time

SAM THAM/The Star Reporter

The first of July saw just 1 new case, yes you read that right. Cases largely remained single digits and well below the 20, 30 and 40 mark, signs were that the public were starting to regain the much needed trust in the government as they have done what they’re promised so far and days were seemingly going to be that less worrying.

September: Sabah elections

Even though many weren’t in favor to have it happen at times like this, the Sabah state election carried on as planned on September 26th . Experts are saying this is where the advantage was given back to the virus.

While many politicians and more members of the public in Sabah were out for the political campaigns, numbers were rising steadily as seen with 6 new cases on the 6th of September going up to 101 on the 29th of September even with strict SOPs in place.

On top of that, several high level-ministers and government personnel were questioned for not being in quarantine after travelling throughout states for election and governmental affairs. There was also the case of Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali flouting a 2-week quarantine upon returning from Turkey, which sparked the talk of how the government is practicing a double-standard with the strict SOPs in place.

October: Post-Sabah elections

(STAND ALONE) Party worker putting up party flag and poster party flag during Sabah Election. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

The country’s fight against the pandemic took a turn for the worst as clusters in Sabah began emerging after the state election, positive daily cases in Sabah took off with 118 at the beginning of October to having 957 at the turn of November and bringing the total cases in Sabah itself to 15,692, more than half of the total positive cases in the country.

Another surge was also taking place in Selangor with the current total number going up as high as 5,000 positive cases in the state itself.

November: Back to square one: CMCO and EMCO

Total positive cases in the country have gone past the 30,000 mark and the CMCO is already implemented in Sabah, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya; this also has been extended by another two weeks until Nov 9th.

EMCO has been declared in three villages in Kudat, Sabah, namely Kampung Pengaraban, Kampung Tanjung Kapur and Kampung and Landong Ayang, starting on Oct 30 to Nov 12.

December: A different Christmas and New Year

As Malaysia overtook China in the number of total reported cases, one of the most festive times of the year was abruptly cancelled and rightfully so. A record high on New Year’s Eve itself of 2,525 new cases, near half of it was in the state of Selangor which had now leapfrogged Sabah into the state with most reported cases.

January 2021: MCO 2.0 and Breaking Records for All The Wrong Reasons

The nation went from a second implementation of MCO in certain states at first to now all of Malaysia, except for Sarawak.

Due to end on February 4th, none are even sure anymore if it’ll actually end there as daily new cases have been in the 3,000 and 4,000 margin since the turn of the year with a new record set every few weeks.

Did we also mention that the King had called a national emergency? Hence, the full circle of Covid-19 in Malaysia has now been completed.

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