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Photo credit: NOMADIC JULIEN VIA UNSPLASH, THE BLUE CITY VIA UNSPLASH, ARCHIE TEP VIA UNSPLASH, ALEC FAVALE VIA UNSPLASH

Asian countries that have extended their own versions of the circuit breaker

While Singapore has reached the end of our circuit breaker, countries like Malaysia and Thailand are still looking forward to the day they can begin reopening.

Yasmeen Farha


Published: 2 June 2020, 12:42 PM

With the long-awaited end to Singapore’s circuit-breaker finally here, locals are more than eager to get back to their daily lives. However, the sweet smell of freedom is still concealed behind masks as Singapore enters the first out of three phases to ease us back into normality.

Despite the initial plan to ease circuit breaker measures on May 4, Singapore eventually extended these measures until early June to bring down the number of cases in the community and foreign worker dormitories.

Apart from Singapore, many countries around the region have also had to extend their lockdown measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Here’s a quick look at some countries in Asia that are still on extended lockdown, and what the future holds for them.

1. Malaysia

Malaysia announced the fourth extension of its conditional movement control order (CMCO) that started on Mar 18. This extension is set to be in place until June 9, a week after Singapore began exiting the circuit breaker.

Besides closing schools and most workplaces, the CMCO also barred Malaysians from leaving the country and restricted the entry of non-Malaysians.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin declared that the further extension was implemented based on the popular opinion of the public, urging for the government to continue taking precautionary measures to fight against the pandemic and prevent recurring cases.

 

Quieter streets in Malaysia during the CMCO.
PHOTO CREDIT: ARCHIE TEP VIA UNSPLASH

 

2. India

Being one of the countries hardest hit by the virus, India had gone into a full-lockdown from March 24.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had implemented a total ban on individuals venturing out of their homes in order to prioritise the state and well-being of the country and its people.

These measures were expected to last through the month of May, with a plausible extension depending on new daily cases.

The Indian authorities have demarcated several containment zones across India, which are high-risk zones with high numbers of COVID-19 cases.

While certain lockdown measures such as intensive contact tracing and house-to-house surveillance have been relaxed outside these containment zones, the lockdown within these zones has been extended till Jun 30.

 

Containment zones in India are expecting quiet streets for an additional month. PHOTO CREDIT: THE BLUE CITY VIA UNSPLASH

 

3. Thailand

The Thailand government declared a further extension to their lockdown measures till Jul 1 – ending an additional two months later than the initial May 31 end date.

These measures include inter-provincial travel bans as well as the emergency decree and curfew.

However, the easing of lockdown measures will be monitored. New laws will be implemented to prevent the resurgence of cases upon the country’s reopening.

 

Thailand has cancelled its annual Songkran Festival to combat the spread of COVID-19. PHOTO CREDIT: LAYDOWN VIA PIXABAY

 

The global pandemic has proven to be disruptive to many around the world. While the lockdowns implemented across countries may seem to be restrictive, the safety measures have shown success in slowing the spread of the virus.

Despite all the measures put in place, the unpredictability of the virus has many individuals anticipating a second wave of cases.

Thus, even as we exit the circuit breaker, let’s play our part in observing the Phase 1 measures, so that we can transition safely into our new normal.


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