Malaysia reports 260 new coronavirus cases, biggest daily spike in nearly four months

Malaysia has reported a total of 11,484 cases of the virus so far, including 136 deaths. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia reported 260 new coronavirus cases on Thursday (Oct 1), its biggest daily spike in infections since June 4, mostly due to an outbreak in Sabah state, the health ministry said.

The South-east Asian country has reported a total of 11,484 cases of the virus so far, including 136 deaths, Reuters reported.

The jump in cases came after a surge in travel to and from Sabah ahead of state elections last Saturday (Sept 26).

Meanwhile, the government on Thursday announced a ban on travel between all 27 districts in Sabah to curb the spread of the virus.

The travel restrictions will start at midnight on Saturday (Oct 3) and will be enforced for 14 days until Oct 16.

Senior Minister (Security cluster) Ismail Sabri Yaakob said only essential services such as food supplies and medical and security services that require travel between districts will still be allowed during this period.

The government earlier placed four Sabah districts - Lahad Datu, Tawau, Kunak and Semporna - under the targeted enhanced movement control order or Enhanced MCO, from Tuesday to Oct 12.

This is a strict lockdown that shuts down most business activities, and prevents people from entering or leaving these districts.

These four districts are on the east coast of Sabah, Malaysia's second biggest state after Sarawak.

The lockdown was instituted after 1,195 Covid-19 cases were recorded in the four districts since the beginning of September.

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