Stranded tourists in Malaysia applaud the MCO to curb Covid-19


German tourist Ken Döscher was on holiday in Malaysia when the MCO started on March 18. — KEN DÖSHER

Tourists stranded in Malaysia while on holiday here are impressed by how the country and Malaysians have handled the Covid-19 pandemic and movement control order (MCO).

German traveller Ken Döscher, 28, who has decided to wait out the coronavirus situation in Kuala Lumpur, said it’s good that everyone is taking the health crisis seriously.

"If you look at the cases in most European countries and the United States, you see that their numbers are way higher than the numbers here in Malaysia. And they all started to react rather late.

"Malaysia started this MCO after having just around 1,000 cases, quite early compared to the European countries or to the US, but I think that’s good and necessary,” he said when contacted.

Döscher gets the impression that most people here follow the MCO rules, which he says is a good thing.

The very busy Jalan Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur with hardly a vehicle or a person passing by during the MCO. — RAJA FAISAL HISHAN/The StarThe very busy Jalan Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur with hardly a vehicle or a person passing by during the MCO. — RAJA FAISAL HISHAN/The Star

The business student was travelling in KL when the MCO started on March 18.

"The city looks like a ghost town, I have never seen a huge city like KL so empty,” he said, adding that he only heads out to purchase daily essentials.

The man is also thankful to friendly Malaysians who have made him feel welcomed.

"So many Malaysians offered me help or gave me tips and recommendations on where to buy food or where to find cheap places to eat,” he said.

Canadian couple Ivana Wibowo, 31, and Steve Greig, 29, are also impressed by the government’s efforts to curb the coronavirus.

"We feel that it has been very organised. The government is taking it seriously with the rules and punishments,” they said in a joint email reply.

Canadian couple Ivana Wibowo and Steve Greig said the MCO is very organised. — IVANA WIBOWO & STEVE GREIGCanadian couple Ivana Wibowo and Steve Greig said the MCO is very organised. — IVANA WIBOWO & STEVE GREIG

Like Döscher, the couple has decided to wait for the MCO to end before leaving, for fear of being stranded while on the move.

“We can only get back home with multiple flight connections. There is a risk of being stranded somewhere else if connecting flights are cancelled,” they say, adding that flight tickets are very expensive now.

"Plus we feel safe here in Malaysia with the MCO taking place,” the couple said.

The MCO is currently in its third phase following two extensions by the government. It is expected to end on April 28.

Read the full story on StarLifestyle this Saturday (April 25).

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