MALAYSIANS who ignore self-imposing Covid-19 precautionary measures should brace for a worst-case scenario in the wake of the World Health Organisation this week declaring the outbreak to be a pandemic.
As Ministry of Health officials work round-the-clock, updates are being issued regularly on dos-and-don’ts, and these include social distancing.
A patient undergoing treatment at a medical facility in Selangor gave authorities the slip and efforts are underway to locate him to prevent the spread of the disease.
Contact tracing is underway for those who attended a gathering in Seri Petaling, Selangor after a participant returned to Brunei and was tested positive. Two others returned to Singapore and were also tested likewise.
Authorities across the Causeway have ordered the temporary closure of mosques for cleaning.
The move was a preventive measure to curb spread of Covid-19 after it established more than 75 citizens of the Republic attended the Seri Petaling gathering.
The Catholic Bishops of Peninsular Malaysia on Thursday issued a Pastoral Letter on steps taken in the wake of virus outbreak.
Suspension of masses and other public gatherings at churches nationwide were the crux of the notice which were to come into effect from Friday March 13 to Sunday March 29.
In Perlis, the Royal household issued a decree that Friday prayers at mosques to be replaced with Muslims performing their obligatory Zohor prayers at home.
Health officials also announced the recent death of a 11-year-old boy at Miri Hospital, Sarawak was attributed to severe Influenza A, and not Covid-19.
The Indian government also took drastic measures by suspending visas issued to foreign nationals barring their entry for the next one month.
The visa suspension would affect all visas apart from diplomatic and official visas, and comes into effect midnight March 13 at the port of departure of any foreigner for onward journey to India.
Come midnight Friday, US President Donald Trump’s 30-day travel ban for incoming flights from Europe comes into force.
The travel ban did not apply to Britain and Ireland, and Americans who undergo screenings.
Also on Wednesday the World Health Organization announced the coronavirus to be a pandemic.
Concerned about the spread and severity, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the organisation was alarmed with levels of inaction.
The coronavirus, which emerged in China in December, has spread around the world, halting industry, bringing flights to a standstill, closing schools and forcing the postponement of sporting events and concerts.
In January, WHO declared a public health emergency of international concern, its “highest level of alarm”, when there were fewer than 100 cases of Covid-19 outside China and eight cases of human-to-human transmission of the disease.
This week there are more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries and 4,291 people have died, with numbers expected to climb.