KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia said it would restrict travel, ban public gatherings and order schools, universities and most shops to shut from Wednesday in a bid to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said there would be a ban on Malaysians traveling overseas and on visitors entering the country under a restricted movement order imposed from March 18 to March 31.

Only shops selling essentials, including food stores and pharmacists, would be allowed to stay open, he said in a televised address.

(Reporting by Joseph Sipalan)