Malaysia’s Covid-19 Cases at A Glance


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January 24

The first suspected Covid-19 case is detected in Johor Bahru among eight Chinese nationals who had earlier come into contact with an infected person in Singapore. Three are confirmed positive for the virus.


February 4

The first case involving a Malaysian is a 41-year-old male from Selangor with a recent travel history to Singapore.

February 5

A 49-year-old man and his son, who are among the first group of Malaysians repatriated from Wuhan test positive for the virus, bringing the total cases nationwide to 12.

MARCH 2020

The religious event organised by Tablighi Jama’at and attended by 16,000 pilgrims at Masjid Jamek Sri Petaling is identified as a major cluster.

March 5

Penang announces the cancellation of the annual Yosakoi Parade.

March 11

The Penang State Government issues a directive to suspend all events involving public gatherings.

March 16

As the total number of cases rises to 553, the first phase of the nationwide Movement Control Order (MCO) is to be imposed from March 18-31. Regulations including the suspension of non-essential businesses, a stay-at-home order and a 10km-radius travel restriction are introduced. Violators of the MCO are to pay a fine of RM1,000 or jailed, or both.

The Penang State Government launches the Penang Lawan Covid-19 campaign. The three key strategical areas are: controlling the pandemic, communicating with the public and containing the impact of the disease.

March 17

Malaysia’s first two fatalities are reported, involving a 60-year-old priest from the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Kuching and a 34-year-old participant of the Tablighi Jama’at event from Johor Bahru.

March 18

The first phase of the MCO comes into effect.

March 19

Health Minister Adham Baba comes under fire for suggesting that Covid-19 can be prevented by drinking warm water during an interview on Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM)'s Bicara Naratif.

March 23

Penang records its first Covid-19 death, a 74-year-old participant from the Tablighi event. Malaysia’s number of fatalities now stands at 10.

March 27

The economic stimulus package Bantuan Prihatin Nasional is introduced to provide the B40 and M40 communities with a one-off financial aid.

March 31

The Women and Family Development Ministry issues a formal apology for a series of sexist posters, including one that advises women to speak in a tone similar to that of Doraemon with their husbands at home during the MCO.

APRIL 2020

April 1

The second phase of MCO begins, from April 1-14. MCO violators will now be issued a RM1,000 compound fine or detained for legal action, including a jail sentence without prior warning.

April 11

The Women and Community Development Deputy Minister Datuk Hajah Siti Zailah is heavily criticised for advising housewives to be patient and to be accepting of their husbands’ flaws, and urging wives to think about their husbands’ “1,000 strengths”.

April 14

Phase three of MCO begins, from April 15-28. Malaysia now has the highest rate of Covid-19 infections in Southeast Asia.

April 15

Eighty-five new cases are reported, the lowest single-day increase in new infections. The number of cases have crossed the 5,000 mark.

April 18

Photos of Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr. Noor Azmi Ghazali and Perak state executive councillor Razman Zakaria lunching with their constituents went viral on social media. Both men, along with 13 others, are later fined RM1,000.

April 22

No new cases have been reported in Penang for more than a week. The number of infections is at 119, with one death recorded so far.

April 26

Just three days away from being listed as a “green state” by the Health Ministry, two cases are detected in the Seberang Perai Utara district.

April 29

Phase four of the MCO begins, from April 29 to May 12. Certain regulations are now relaxed, e.g. two members from each household are now allowed out to shop for necessities.

AirAsia resumes its domestic flight routes with strict adherence to the Health Ministry’s SOPs.

MAY 2020

May 1

The Conditional Movement Control Order is set to begin on May 4. Most businesses are allowed to resume operations. Dine-ins at eateries are also allowed, but with strict adherence to the Health Ministry’s SOPs.

Mass gatherings are still banned, and places of worship and educational institutions remain closed. The 10km-radius travel restriction is lifted, but interstate travel is still prohibited.

May 3

Penang introduces the three-phase Penang Gradual Recovery Strategy towards reopening the economy.

Phase 1 (Preparation Phase, from May 4-7): Business owners are encouraged to utilise this 4-day period to plan their businesses’ reopening according to the Health Ministry’s SOPs.

Phase 2 (Familiarisation Phase, from May 8-12): Certain sectors are allowed to operate in full capacity with strict adherence to the SOPs.

Phase 3 (Reopening Phase, from May 13 onwards): All businesses are allowed to operate at full capacity.

May 4

With no new active cases reported, Penang is now a “green state”.

May 6

As part of the Penangite Aid Package 2.0, RM76mil in one-off cash aid and other forms of relief are introduced. This includes a RM500 one-off payment to hawkers, bus drivers and drivers of tour vehicles and limousines.

May 12

Sixteen new cases are detected in Malaysia, bringing the total number to 6,742. The total number of patients recovered is 5,223, while the death toll remains at 109.

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