A press release detailing restrictions imposed on the movement of citizens to curb the spread of the Coronavirus outbreak in Malaysia is being shared with a false claim that it was released by the National Security Council, Prime Minister's Office (PMO) of India.
The 5-page press release reads dated March 18, 2020, states that the government has declared a Restricted Movement Order from March 18, 2020 to March 31, 2020, in view of the coronavirus outbreak.
BOOM received the document on its WhatsApp helpline number (7700906111) inquiring about its veracity.
The press release reads, "To ensure the effectiveness of the order, the general public is advised to stay home at all times except to fulfill basic needs. Apart from that, please practice social distancing to prevent being infected by COVID-19". It goes on to state the various restrictions that would come into effect and the services that would be operational.
One can read the viral document here
The document is viral in the backdrop Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the nation on the COVD-19 outbreak on March 19, 2020.
BOOM found that the press release was issued by the NSC, PMO Malaysia, and not by PMO India as being claimed on social media. The last point in the document reads, "Malaysians working in Singapore/Thailand/ Brunei / Indonesia", which indicates that the document is not issued for Indian citizens.
Additionally on searching for the helpline number (03-8888 2010) provided in the document we found that it is was a Malaysian phone number. On searching for the number we found a news report by The Star that stated that the number was set up as a special hotline by the Malaysian Government to address questions and complaints by the public on the movement control order imposed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Malaysian government has imposed a 14-day Movement Control Order from March 18, 2020 to March 31, 2020, to curb the spread of the Coronavirus outbreak in Malaysia reported New Straits Times. The Malaysian Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, had announced this nationwide movement control order on March 16, 2020.
Malaysia has reported 900 positive COVID-19 cases as of March 19, 2020, according to a real-time data monitor by John Hopkins University.
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