New Covid-19 cases surge in Malaysia's Negeri Sembilan state

Three federal territories, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya along with Labuan, are currently under the stricter movement curbs. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR - New daily cases of Covid-19 surged in Negeri Sembilan state on Saturday (Nov 14) with 374 cases reported in the last 24 hours, making it the state with the second highest number of infections after Sabah.

The Borneo state of Sabah, which is the epicentre of the disease for most of the last two months, remained at the number one spot with 391 new cases, Malaysia's Health Ministry said.

The surge in Negeri Sembilan - located to the south of the Klang Valley - mostly came from existing clusters, with four cases from close contact and other Covid-19 screenings, said the ministry's director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The Klang Valley, Malaysia's most-densely populated areas comprising Selangor and the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, logged 217 cases on Saturday.

The Klang Valley, Malaysia's commercial and industrial heart with some seven million people, alarmed officials when it reported 563 cases on Friday, higher than Sabah's 556 cases.

The apparent race to log ever-higher number of cases comes amid the third wave of the pandemic in Malaysia.

Nine of Malaysia's 13 states, and its three federal territories - KL, Putrajaya along with Labuan, are currently under the stricter movement curbs, called Conditional movement control order, or CMCO.

Malaysia had relaxed curbs on economic and social activities in June under the so-called 'Recovery MCO', after three months of restrictions had reduced daily infections to low double-digits. But the government was forced to revert back to CMCO in the last three weeks for the Klang Valley and for the past week for most other states as new cases kept rising.

The CMCO bars inter-district travel except for work and emergency purposes, with mass gatherings banned and the public repeatedly advised through the media to remain at home. Police put up roadblocks along major roads.

Several townships and villages in Malaysia, which recorded more than 40 cases in the last 14 days, have been placed under total lockdowns called Enhanced MCO, with barbed wire fencing placed around the vicinity as health officials conduct screenings on all residents, and food are sent in daily as no one is allowed to leave.

Malaysia yesterday reported a total of 1,114 new cases: the 14th consecutive day where daily cases had gone above 800.

The cumulative figure since the coronavirus disease was tracked in Malaysia totalled 46,209 cases.

There were two new fatalities yesterday to raise the total to 306 deaths.

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