KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia reported 9,020 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday (May 29), its highest daily toll since the start of the pandemic.
This is the fifth straight day of record new infections, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 558,534.
Malaysia will close all economic and social sectors by implementing a “total lockdown” throughout the country, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced on Friday night.
The first phase of the lockdown will last from Jun 1 to Jun 14. Only essential economic and service sectors listed by the National Security Council will be allowed to operate during this phase.
READ: Malaysia to enter ‘total lockdown’ from Jun 1 to Jun 14 as daily number of COVID-19 cases hits new record
“This decision was made after taking into account the current situation of COVID-19 transmission in Malaysia with daily case numbers exceeding 8,000 and active cases exceeding 70,000,” said a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office on Friday.
The emergence of more virulent COVID-19 variants also influenced the National Security Council’s decision to implement the lockdown.
With the sharp rise in the daily number of COVID-19 cases, hospitals’ capacity to treat patients throughout the country are “becoming more limited”, the statement added.
If phase 1 of the lockdown is successful in reducing daily COVID-19 cases, the government will implement a four-week phase 2 lockdown, allowing the reopening of a few economic sectors that do not involve large gatherings.
“Once the phase 2 lockdown ends, the next step is phase 3, which is implementing a movement control order (MCO) similar to the current one in effect, where social activities are not allowed and nearly all economic sectors are allowed to operate subject to strict standard operating procedures and limited physical presence at workplaces,” said the Prime Minister’s Office.
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