Malaysia to start reopening of economy on May 4

The Malaysian government made the decision to allow the majority of businesses in the country to resume operations from May 4, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on May 1, in a first step to ease wide-ranging restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

However, economic and social sectors that involve large gatherings of people will not be allowed to reopen, Yassin said in a televised address. This includes religious activities and venues that involve close contacts among people such as cinemas and night clubs, which will stay closed for the time being. Schools and universities will also remain shut.

Authorities will be enforcing strict health standard procedures, including the wearing of masks, social distancing and maintaining high levels of personal hygiene, Yassin noted.

Malaysia has shut all non-essential businesses and schools, banned public gatherings and restricted travel since March 18 as the number of coronavirus cases rose. Known infections in Malaysia stood at 6,071 as of May 1, with 103 deaths and 4,210 recovered. The pace of new cases has slowed in recent days.

Economic damage for Malaysia from the virus crisis so far amounts to almost $15 billion

The Prime Minister further informed that Malaysia incurred estimated 63 billion ringgit ($14.7 billion) in losses since lockdown measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic came into force. Despite the soft opening of businesses, the country is expected to incur 35 billion ringgit ($8.1 billion) in more losses through the continued partial lockdown which is currently in its fourth phase.

“After almost two months into the lockdown, I am aware the majority want to return to work. Traders want to reopen their businesses and the same applies to industrial operators who want to resume operations,” Yassin said.

He, however, noted that many were still concerned of the consequences of the opening since the virus is still not contained and the risk of people being infected is still there.

“We have witnessed in several other countries where the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases began increasing after they lifted their lockdown measures. We must avoid the same from happening in our country,” Yassin said, adding that it was imperative for the government to implement measures that could strike a balance between containing the outbreak and revitalising the economy.

The Malaysian government made the decision to allow the majority of businesses in the country to resume operations from May 4, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on May 1, in a first step to ease wide-ranging restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus. However, economic and social sectors that involve large gatherings of people will not be allowed to reopen, Yassin said in a televised address. This includes religious activities and venues that involve close contacts among people such as cinemas and night clubs, which will stay closed for the time being. Schools and universities will also remain...

The Malaysian government made the decision to allow the majority of businesses in the country to resume operations from May 4, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on May 1, in a first step to ease wide-ranging restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

However, economic and social sectors that involve large gatherings of people will not be allowed to reopen, Yassin said in a televised address. This includes religious activities and venues that involve close contacts among people such as cinemas and night clubs, which will stay closed for the time being. Schools and universities will also remain shut.

Authorities will be enforcing strict health standard procedures, including the wearing of masks, social distancing and maintaining high levels of personal hygiene, Yassin noted.

Malaysia has shut all non-essential businesses and schools, banned public gatherings and restricted travel since March 18 as the number of coronavirus cases rose. Known infections in Malaysia stood at 6,071 as of May 1, with 103 deaths and 4,210 recovered. The pace of new cases has slowed in recent days.

Economic damage for Malaysia from the virus crisis so far amounts to almost $15 billion

The Prime Minister further informed that Malaysia incurred estimated 63 billion ringgit ($14.7 billion) in losses since lockdown measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic came into force. Despite the soft opening of businesses, the country is expected to incur 35 billion ringgit ($8.1 billion) in more losses through the continued partial lockdown which is currently in its fourth phase.

“After almost two months into the lockdown, I am aware the majority want to return to work. Traders want to reopen their businesses and the same applies to industrial operators who want to resume operations,” Yassin said.

He, however, noted that many were still concerned of the consequences of the opening since the virus is still not contained and the risk of people being infected is still there.

“We have witnessed in several other countries where the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases began increasing after they lifted their lockdown measures. We must avoid the same from happening in our country,” Yassin said, adding that it was imperative for the government to implement measures that could strike a balance between containing the outbreak and revitalising the economy.

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