Malaysia extends lockdown by 2 weeks
Daily Covid cases falling but still above target of 4,000 or less
published : 11 Jun 2021 at 18:09
writer: Bloomberg News
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia extended its nationwide lockdown by two weeks as the number of daily Covid-19 cases remain elevated, Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said on Friday.
The first phase of the lockdown, which was due to end on June 14, will continue until June 28, the minister said . The decision to extend was made as new infections remain over 5,000 daily, he said.
Malaysia returned to a hard lockdown this month after daily infections exceeded a record 9,000 by the end of May, straining the resources of the nation’s hospitals. Only essential sectors may operate under the renewed restrictions that took effect June 1, while movement is restricted to a 10km radius.
The country's infection rate has fallen since the measures took effect, remaining below 1.0 as of Thursday, official data show. Still, cases remain above the 4,000 daily threshold set by the government to end the lockdown, Health Minister Adam Baba said on Tuesday.
The country’s royal leaders are set to convene on June 16 to discuss the measures taken to tackle the outbreak. The meeting was called after the king summoned party leaders individually amid public anger over the government’s handling of the pandemic.
When announcing the lockdown on May 29, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the government plans to reopen economic sectors that don’t involve large crowds if infections dropped after two weeks. This so-called second phase of the lockdown was to last for four weeks.