Malaysia will tighten movement restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19 for two weeks starting Jan. 13, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Monday.
In a televised speech, Muhyiddin said the decision was made following spikes in confirmed COVID-19 cases that had driven the country’s medical system to a “breaking point’’.
“The situation today is indeed very alarming. Our healthcare system is under tremendous pressure now than at any other time since the start of the pandemic. As I have said before, unprecedented situations call for unprecedented measures,’’ he said.
The areas to impose the measures included the capital Kuala Lumpur, the states of Penang, Selangor, Melaka, Johor and the northern Borneo State of Sabah, among others, the prime minister said.
Under the stricter restrictions, all social events involving mass gatherings are banned, residents are only allowed to travel within a radius of 10 kilometers, and no dine-in for restaurants.
“Essential economic sectors’’ such as manufacturing, construction and logistics, are allowed to operate, but employers must limit the number of staff who have to work in office.
The Health Ministry reported 2,232 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the national total to 138,224.
Health Ministry Director-General Noor Abdullah, said in a statement that six of the new cases were imported and 2,226 were local transmissions.
Four new deaths were reported from the coronavirus epidemic, raising the death toll to 555.
Another 1,006 patients were newly discharged from hospitals after they recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to 109,115, or 78.9 per cent of all cases.
Of the remaining 28,554 active cases, 187 are being held in intensive care units with 87 of them in need of assisted breathing in that country.
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