Coronavirus Asia

Malaysia to announce new measures amid surge in infections

Inter-state and inter-district travel could be tightened; Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine gets nod

Malaysia has seen a spike in infections since September. The Health Ministry has warned that Covid-19 cases could hit 8,000 a day by the middle of March if the country's infectivity rate rises from the current level.
Malaysia has seen a spike in infections since September. The Health Ministry has warned that Covid-19 cases could hit 8,000 a day by the middle of March if the country's infectivity rate rises from the current level.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will announce new measures this week to curb a surge in coronavirus cases, a senior minister said, as the country recorded 2,451 new infections yesterday.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin will announce the new measures tomorrow, Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob told reporters.

"We are refining and looking at the new measures in detail to ensure that they work for everyone," he said during a televised news conference.

The South-east Asian nation has seen a spike in infections since September.

The Health Ministry yesterday reported five new Covid-19 fatalities, bringing the country's death toll to 542.

To date, Malaysia has recorded 133,559 Covid-19 cases.

The Health Ministry has warned that Covid-19 cases could hit 8,000 a day by the middle of March if the country's infectivity rate rises from the current level.

As a result, the government has said it was considering imposing targeted lockdowns in some areas.

Health Minister Adham Baba said yesterday that inter-state and inter-district travel could also be tightened to bring down the number of Covid-19 cases.

"Sporadic cases which are infections within the community and positive cases among foreign workers contribute greatly to the spike.

"Sporadic cases occur from inter-state travel or attending a gathering or social event," he said.

However, businesses warned that wider restrictions could further batter the economy.

  • 2,451

  • Number of new infections yesterday in Malaysia.

    542

    Current Covid-19 death toll in Malaysia; there were five new fatalities reported by the Health Ministry yesterday.

     

Separately, Science Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said that the country's pharmaceutical regulator has issued conditional approval for the vaccine manufactured by United States and German drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech to be used in Malaysia.

"We are still waiting for a few additional info from Pfizer but this means it can be used in Malaysia," Mr Khairy posted on his Twitter account.

Malaysia, which has purchased 12.8 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot, is expected to receive its first shipment of the vaccine next month.

Mr Khairy also said Malaysia set a target to achieve herd immunity against the virus 18 months after the arrival of the vaccine.

REUTERS, THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 10, 2021, with the headline 'Malaysia to announce new measures amid surge in infections'. Print Edition | Subscribe