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What is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. COVID-19 is now a pandemic affecting many countries globally.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Other symptoms that are less common and may affect some patients include aches and pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but only have very mild symptoms.
Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing hospital treatment. Around 1 out of every 5 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart and lung problems, diabetes, or cancer, are at higher risk of developing serious illness. However, anyone can catch COVID-19 and become seriously ill. People of all ages who experience fever and/or cough associated withdifficulty breathing/shortness of breath, chest pain/pressure, or loss of speech or movement should seek medical attention immediately. If possible, it is recommended to call the health care provider or facility first, so the patient can be directed to the right clinic.

How does COVID-19 spread?
People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are expelled when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, or speaks. These droplets are relatively heavy, do not travel far and quickly sink to the ground. People can catch COVID-19 if they breathe in these droplets from a person infected with the virus. This is why it is important to stay at least 1 meter) away from others. These droplets can land on objects and surfaces around the person such as tables, doorknobs and handrails. People can become infected by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. This is why it is important to wash your hands regularly with soap and water or clean with alcohol-based hand rub.
WHO is assessing ongoing research on the ways that COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share updated findings.

What should I do if I have come in close contact with someone who has COVID-19?
If you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, you may be infected.
Close contact means that you live with or have been in settings of less than 1 metre from those who have the disease. In these cases, it is best to stay at home.
However, if you live in an area with malaria or dengue fever it is important that you do not ignore symptoms of fever. Seek medical help. When you attend the health facility wear a mask if possible, keep at least 1 metre distant from other people and do not touch surfaces with your hands. If it is a child who is sick help the child stick to this advice.
If you do not live in an area with malaria or dengue fever please do the following:
  • If you become ill, even with very mild symptoms you must self-isolate
  • Even if you don’t think you have been exposed to COVID-19 but develop symptoms, then self-isolate and monitor yourself
  • You are more likely to infect others in the early stages of the disease when you just have mild symptoms, therefore early self-isolation is very important.
  • If you do not have symptoms, but have been exposed to an infected person, self-quarantine for 14 days.
If you have definitely had COVID-19 (confirmed by a test) self-isolate for 14 days even after symptoms have disappeared as a precautionary measure – it is not yet known exactly how long people remain infectious after they have recovered. Follow national advice on self-isolation.


Government of Malaysia

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today announced the conditional movement control order (CMCO) with various economic and social activities allowed, from May 4, subject to the conditions and standard operating procedure which have been set.
The following is the essence of the CMCO announced by Muhyiddin:
  • Restaurants are allowed to operate, observing the business SOP which includes social distancing and recording the names and telephone numbers of customers and the dates of their visit.
  • Cinemas, karaoke centres, reflexology centres, entertainment centres, night clubs, theme parks, Ramadan bazaars, Aidilfitri bazaars, shopping carnivals and all forms of conferences and exhibitions are not allowed.
  • Sports activities involving large gatherings, body contact and other risks of infection are also not allowed, including football, rugby, swimming and all indoor and stadium sports events.
  • Outdoor sports activities which do not involve body contact and in small groups such as badminton or tennis outdoors without an audience, jogging, cycling, golf and running comprising of not more than 10 persons are allowed on condition social distancing is practised.
  • Social, community and cultural events which involve large gatherings such as feasts, open houses, break-of-fast events, concerts, cultural shows, monthly assemblies of government departments and the private sector, as well as all types of official events and assemblies are not permitted.
  • Religious activities such as religious marches, Friday prayers and all congregational or assembly activities in mosques, surau and houses of worship are also not allowed.
  • Inter-state travel is not allowed except for work purposes and to return home after being stranded in the hometowns or elsewhere.
  • Inter-state travel to go back to the hometown for the Aidilfitri festival holidays is not allowed.
  • For now, all schools, colleges and tertiary institutions are still not opened.
  • The full list of businesses or activities which are not allowed (to operate) can be obtained at the National Security Council’s website. It is updated from time to time, depending on the development of Covid-19 cases.
  • All employers are urged to implement flexible working hours as part of the effort to prevent congestion at public transportation stations and in public vehicles.
  • Public and private sector employees are encouraged to work from home as the new normal.
  • Employers should give some leeway to married couples to work on alternate days, thus helping solve the problem of childcare.
  • Avoid congestion at bus, LRT and MRT stations.
  • Practise wearing masks and always bring along the hand sanitiser when outside the home. 

Government of Sarawak

Phase 1 (18 March - 31 March)
On 16 March, Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg announced several control measures to prevent Covid-19 infections from further escalating in the state. Among the several control measures imposed are:
  • All schools in Sarawak have been advised to extend their holidays for another week until 29 March 2020.
  • All preschoolskindergartensand tahfiz schools state-wide are instructed to close for two weeks effective 17 March 2020.
  • Higher education institutions, both government and private, are to defer their new academic session by two weeks, effective 17 March 2020.
  • All state government official functions involving more than 50 people will be cancelled or postponed until further notice.
  • All visitors (foreign and domestic) coming into Sarawak and returning Sarawakians will be issued with a 14-day Stay Home Notice (SHN). This includes Sarawak residents, and long-term and short-term pass holders. This will take effect on 18 March 2020.
  • The relevant agencies will monitor the Stay Home Notice holders through random visits, phone calls and modern technology applications.
  • Exemptions will only be given by the state Health Department to those required to travel under special circumstances, such as official and business duties.
  • Everyone is advised to practice the highest standard of personal hygiene and to strictly practice social distancing.
On 18 March, The Sarawak government has advised all government offices (except essential services), business premises (except business premises dealing with daily essentials) and factories (except those in Samalaju, Hi-Tech Samajaya, and plywood factories which are allowed to operate with minimum staffs) will be closed. Restaurant and eateries are allowed to open and operate for takeaways only (drinking/dining in the premises are prohibited). People are allowed to leave houses, but for purchasing essential items, important goods and services only.
On 19 March, Sarawak Government and Housing Ministry orders all food premises and stalls to close by 8PM daily throughout the movement control order period.
On 20 March, All fast food outlets (including drive thru services) and supermarkets will stop operation by 8PM but convenience store and petrol station will operate as usual.
On 22 March, The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee said all hypermarkets, supermarkets, markets, coffee shops, private clinics, restaurants, 24-hour convenience stores and petrol stations in the state are to cease operations from 7PM to 7AM starting from 24 March 2020.
On 25 March, State Disaster Management Committee in a meeting agreed to allow pet shops and veterinary clinics to operate business throughout Movement Control Order (MCO) period from 7AM to 7PM with immediate effect.
On 26 March, Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has issued directives to ensures there is continuous supply of food:
  • Farmers, breeders and fishermen can continue with their daily routines.
  • Farmers, breeders and fishermen are allowed to sell their products at places agreed by the local council from 7AM - 7PM
On 29 March, Sarawak has imposed a ban on inter-district travel, and those with valid reasons for travelling must obtain permits from the district office.

Phase 2 (1 April - 14 April)
On 5 April, All hardware shops, agricultural supply stores and sparepart shops are allowed to open twice a week, Tuesday and Thursday from 7AM - 7PM
On 13 April, All barber shops are not allowed to open despite extension of nationwide Movement Control Order.

Phase 3 (15 April - 28 April)
On 18 April, State Disaster Management Committee said all farmers and their wives are allowed to travel in the same vehicle or motorcycle to go to their farms despite 1 person per vehicle rule during Movement Control Order. Telecommunication companies such as Celcom, Digi, Maxis and U Mobile and their dealers are allowed to reopen their business operations on Wednesday and Friday from 10AM - 4PM  with only 3 workers maximum at any given time as they are considered as providing essential services to the public. However, they can only operate from selected premises.
On 21 April, Baking specialty stores selling baking ingredients, accessories and containers, are allowed to operate twice a week, Wednesday and Friday from 7AM - 7PM  in view of upcoming Gawai and Hari Raya. All laundry shops (serviced and self-service) are not allowed to operate during MCO.[92]
On 23 April, State Disaster Management Committee said all individual food vendors, hotels, restaurants and fast food restaurants were allowed to operate for takeaways via e-Bazaar Ramadhan from 7AM - 7PM   throughout Ramadan. Food trucks are not allowed to operate during MCO.

Phase 4 (29 April - 3 May)
On 30 April, Sarawak has decided to allow 2 immediate family members from the same household to travel in a vehicle with immediate effect for purposes of seeking healthcare and medical services, or to buy food, medicine, daily necessities, dietary supplements or any other goods from any provider of essential services.

On 2 May, Sarawak has decided not to implement the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) that will allow the reopening of certain economic activities and sectors this May 4 as announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Phase 5 (4 May - 12 May)
On 9 May, Sarawak will allow various economic activities to reopen on May 12 with strict compliance to standard operating procedures (SOP).

On 12 May, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said business in Sarawak are allowed to open between 7AM - 10PM   during the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) period.
Phase 6 (13 May - 9 June)
On 14 May, Sarawak gazetted the Protection of Public Health Ordinance, which will be in effect from 14 May to June 9, in a bid to further contain the spread of Covid-19. 
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Riam Institute of Technology
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