Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Malaysia imposing stricter movement restrictions in Kota Setar, Kedah State as of Sept. 13 over COVID-19. Curbs in place through Sept. 25.

Alert Begins 13 Sep 2020 02:28 AM UTC
Alert Expires 25 Sep 2020 04:00 PM UTC

  • Incident: Movement restrictions
  • Location(s): Kota Setar District, Kedah State (map)
  • Time Frame: Through Sept. 25
  • Impact: Heightened security, business and transport disruptions

Summary
The central government has imposed strict movement protocols, termed the enhanced movement control order (EMCO), in Kota Setar District, Kedah State, as of Sept. 13 to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the area. The measures, which are affecting around 360,000 people and more severe than related policies throughout Malaysia, are in place through at least Sept. 25. Entry and exit restrictions are in effect for the area, including the state capital Alor Setar; the measures also affect those who need to travel into or out of Kota Setar for work. Only one person from each household can leave their homes to obtain essential supplies. Medical facilities can remain open for 24 hours during EMCO, while other essential businesses can operate on-site with reduced operating hours. Food establishments can serve takeaway and delivery orders only. Authorities have banned all sporting activities and shut educational institutions and places of worship. The government has also suspended operations at Kuala Kedah Ferry Terminal, as well as Bukit Kayu Hitam checkpoint in Kubang Pasu District at the border with Thailand.

Authorities have deployed personnel and erected checkpoints to enforce the controls. Severe business and transport disruptions will likely occur in Kota Setar during the movement restrictions. Officials may expand or extend the measures if local COVID-19 activity remains high.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in Kota Setar District. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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