Malaysia PM orders 'total lockdown' amid Covid-19 surge

General view of a deserted street during a lockdown due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, May 11, 2021.
PHOTO: Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Friday announced a nationwide “total lockdown” starting in June as coronavirus infections in the country surged to record levels.

Muhyiddin said the stricter lockdown from June 1 to 14 was for all social and economic sectors, and that only essential services would remain in operation.

The Covid-19 spread in the Southeast Asian nation in recent weeks has been more severe, partly due to highly transmissible coronavirus variants. Hospitals are also strained.

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“With the latest rise in daily cases showing a drastically upward trend, hospital capacity across the country to treat Covid-19 patients are becoming limited,” Muhyiddin said in a statement.

Malaysia reported 8,290 new coronavirus cases on Friday, its fourth straight day of record infections and bringing the total number of cases to 549,514.

It also reported 61 deaths. The number of daily fatalities has been rising, with a record daily toll of 63 earlier this week.