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Malaysia to deploy army to assist coronavirus measures

Military to assist police in reducing movement of people

Sorvar Alam   | 20.03.2020
Malaysia to deploy army to assist coronavirus measures


ANKARA 

Malaysia on Friday announced plans to deploy the country's military to reinforce stay-at-home orders in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Malaysian Armed Forces will be mobilized on Sunday to assist the civilian authorities in controlling the public movement, said Defense Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, according to state-run Bernama news agency. 

On March 17, the country imposed the two-week Movement Control Order asking people to stay home until end of the month.

"Nevertheless, there have been incidents which show that there still are individuals who are disregarding the order and are roaming in parks, eating in restaurants, and who are not even heeding instructions from the police to disperse," said the minister.

"In the meeting today, it was decided that the military help the police in monitoring the events happening currently. Especially in ensuring that the people abide by the order to stay put in their homes," he said.

"The military will be deployed beginning this Sunday. So, we are confident that with the help from the military, the control order would be enforced better and we hope the people would continue to abide by the government order,” Yaakob was cited as saying by the Kuala Lumpur-based Malaymail newspaper.

The country's police will continue with their monitoring activities at roadblocks, Yaakoob added, underlining that the government did not intend to declare a curfew.

Malaysia Health Director-General Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah said Friday that 15 doctors and medical workers, 12 of his public and three private health workers have been infected by the virus. 

Malaysia has reported two deaths so far from the virus, with 900 cases reported so far.

The country has the fourth-highest number of cases in Asia, after China, Iran, and South Korea.

Earlier this week, the South Asian nation also declared nationwide restrictions including the closure of all educational institutions, most of the government and private premises as well as the restrictions on religious activities through March 31.

The global death toll from novel coronavirus has soared past 10,000 on Friday, according to the figures compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

The virus, which emerged in Wuhan, China last December, has spread to at least 160 countries and regions around the globe, while the tally of confirmed cases exceeded 244,500.

A vast majority of those who get infected suffer mild symptoms and recover.

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