Malaysia extends coronavirus lockdown by 2 weeks

Medical workers wearing protective suits pass by barbed wire at the red zone under enhanced lockdown, amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, on May 11, 2020.
PHOTO: Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR, Tuesday (Feb 2) - Malaysia’s government on Tuesday extended a lockdown and broad movement restrictions by two weeks, as the Southeast Asian nation grapples with a surge in coronavirus infections that has pushed the cumulative total past 200,000 cases.

The lockdown, which covered all but one state and was to end on Thursday (Feb 4), will now continue until Feb. 18, Defense Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.

“The health ministry has confirmed that daily cases in all states are still showing a rising trend... the sporadic spread in the community is also high,” Ismail Sabri said in a televised address.

The lockdown will allow some leeway for businesses to continue operating, especially micro-enterprises and small-time traders, but continue to bar inter-state travel and social activities, the minister said.

Malaysia reported over 4,000 new coronavirus cases on Monday, raising the cumulative total to nearly 220,000 cases including 770 deaths.

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