Malaysian political crisis

Malaysia reports 10 Covid-19 deaths - highest in a single day

Beds for Covid-19 patients at the Tawau Sports Complex in Sabah. The Malaysian state yesterday again logged the highest number of 528 cases, or 74.3 per cent of the country's 710 daily cases.
Beds for Covid-19 patients at the Tawau Sports Complex in Sabah. The Malaysian state yesterday again logged the highest number of 528 cases, or 74.3 per cent of the country's 710 daily cases.PHOTO: BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia yesterday reported 10 deaths caused by Covid-19, the highest death toll from the disease in a single day since Covid-19 was tracked in January.

Eight of the 10 fatalities were from Sabah, the epicentre of the outbreak in Malaysia in recent weeks.

The remaining two deaths were reported in Labuan and Kedah. The country's death toll stood at 214.

There were a total of 710 infections reported yesterday, the seventh day in a row that daily cases exceeded 700. Malaysia hit a record high of 871 cases in a day on Sunday.

Sabah state yesterday again logged the highest number with 528 cases, or 74.3 per cent of the 710 daily cases. This was followed by Selangor (62), Penang (39), Negeri Sembilan (37) and the federal territory of Labuan (19).

The surge and spread of infections all over the country in the last few weeks have been mostly blamed on the two-week election campaigning period before the Sept 26 Sabah state polls. Political campaigners from the election later went back to their home states to spread the highly contagious disease.

The triple-digit figures yesterday brought the cumulative total reported in the country to 24,514, with active cases at 8,416.

There are now 90 people being treated in intensive care units, with 28 of them requiring ventilator support.

Meanwhile, even as the public remains anxious that political instability due to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's weak hold on power could result in a general election soon, another state is mulling over when to call state polls.

Sarawak, Malaysia's biggest state by land size, must hold its polls by June next year, or the state assembly will automatically dissolve at the end of its five-year term.

Sarawak typically holds its state polls separately from Malaysia's general election, though its 31 federal MPs are elected during national polls. The 82-seat Sarawak assembly is dominated by the four-party Gabungan Parti Sarawak coalition, which has 72 seats.

Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Tun Openg said: "We are subject to advice from the Health Ministry on whether we should go (for an election) or not. I am also concerned about the health of the people."

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 24, 2020, with the headline 'Malaysia reports 10 Covid-19 deaths - highest in a single day'. Print Edition | Subscribe