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People queuing up to buy tickets at the Southern Integrated Terminal in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. - NSTP/ROHANIS SHUKRI
People queuing up to buy tickets at the Southern Integrated Terminal in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. - NSTP/ROHANIS SHUKRI

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians were scrambling for tickets to balik kampung before the Restricted Movement Order came into effect today.

Checks at the Southern Integrated Terminal (TBS) in Bandar Tasik Selatan found many passengers carrying luggages making a beeline for the ticket booths.

The situation was somewhat similar to the balik kampung exodus during festive seasons.

Earlier, pictures of the public queuing for bus tickets went viral.

Twitter user @kittenisss said the Restricted Movement Order was not an opportunity for the public to return to their hometowns or travel the country, but to stay at home to curb the outbreak of Covid-19.

@JustinTWJ said “Apparently, some people who tested for Covid-19 are asymptomatic.

“Without mass testing, we wouldn’t really know for sure (as to whether who is infected with the virus) and the fact that many people now want to balik kampung (has worsened the situation).”

Some of the large group of commuters who turned up at the Southern Integrated Terminal in Kuala Lumpur yesterday to buy tickets to return to their hometowns despite calls to restrict travel plans. - NSTP/ROHANIS SHUKRI.
Some of the large group of commuters who turned up at the Southern Integrated Terminal in Kuala Lumpur yesterday to buy tickets to return to their hometowns despite calls to restrict travel plans. - NSTP/ROHANIS SHUKRI.

However, user @AuniiNr said most of the students who came from other states had no choice but to return to their hometowns.

“Like myself, a student from Kedah, what will I do if I don’t return to my hometown?”

It is learnt that several higher learning institutions had instructed their students to vacate the residential colleges and return to their homes starting yesterday.

Meanwhile, Universiti Malaya’s Faculty of Medicine dean Professor Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman said the public should stay put during the 14-day Restricted Movement Order.

“Stay put wherever you are. The whole idea is to minimise human contact that can spread the virus.

“Social distancing is the fancy term for it,” she said on her Twitter account, @ProfAdeeba, on Monday.

The tweet was accompanied by a video clip of Dr Adeeba being interviewed by Astro Awani on the issue.

On Monday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the government had imposed a 14-day Restricted Movement Order from today to March 31 nationwide to curb the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Speaking during a special address, Muhyiddin said the order would entail a ban on all mass gatherings for religious, sport, social and cultural activities.

He said the decision was made under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and the Police Act 1967.

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