Get used to ‘new normal’ with no handshakes and more hand-washing, PM tells Malaysians

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
People watch the live telecast of the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announcing the extension of the movement control order due to the Covid-19 pandemic in Kuala Lumpur April 10, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today told Malaysians to start getting used to the “new normal” of more hygienic and contactless greeting habits in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.

During his announcement of the extension of the movement control order (MCO) until April 28, Muhyiddin pre-empted Malaysians to adapt and change their habits from things used to be considered as normal.

“For example, shaking hands. Before, shaking hands when meeting someone was a normal habit. If you don’t shake hands, you could be considered as awkward or impolite,” he said in a special address.

“But now it is different. We cannot shake hands when we meet someone to avoid getting infected by the virus.

“Maybe we should just bow as a sign of respect. This is the new normal,” he added.

Muhyiddin earlier announced the extension of the MCO, a decision he said was made after considering advice from the Health Ministry and guidelines by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

As Malaysians faced an additional two weeks under the stay home order, Muhyiddin today said among the other aspects of the new normal we should get used to is the frequent washing of hands.

“Use soap, hand sanitisers and such. And also use face masks.

“There are many other examples which I do not need to mention because I am sure you all understand the meaning of this new normal that we have to practice in our daily lives for the future,” he added.

Today is the 24th day of the MCO’s second phase which was supposed to end on April 14 before the extension was announced today.

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