At the initial stages of a new disease outbreak, information about the disease and how it spreads is scarce, limited and often incomplete. Therefore, it is difficult for the government and healthcare authorities to design management policies to contain the outbreak. To overcome this, scientists often rely on mathematical modelling to predict the future trend of a disease and consequently inform the appropriate measures to tackle the outbreak.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced the conditional movement control order (MCO) will be extended for another four weeks until June 9. While several festivities such as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the Kaamatan Feast and Hari Gawai will fall during this period, mass movements across state borders or 'balik kampung' would not be allowed. We asked experts to comment on the fifth extension of the MCO.
The Malaysian Health Coalition (MHC) has a consistent position of a phased restart of our economy and society, expressed in our Joint Statements on 11 April 2020 and 23 April 2020. We understand that the movement control order (MCO) carries psychological, emotional and economic cost to the Rakyat. The MCO cannot be imposed indefinitely, and there is no “best time” to restart Malaysia.
Universiti Malaya Academician Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Lam Sai Kit described the reopening of the economy by relaxing some restrictions under the implementation of the conditional MCO starting May 4 as "far too much and too soon." This is based on the number of cases which has not gone down sufficiently for the country to consider being "out of the woods."