Malaysia to extend lockdown, boost Covid aid, Muhyiddin says
published : 27 Jun 2021 at 12:41
writer: Bloomberg News
Malaysia is set to extend a nationwide lockdown that was originally due to end Monday as the number of new Covid infections still remains too high, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said.
The movement restrictions will now stay in place until the nation’s daily caseload falls below 4,000, Muhyiddin said on Sunday, according to a tweet from the Bernama news agency. The government will announce more comprehensive assistance to all groups of society on Monday or Tuesday, he said during a visit to a vaccination centre in the state of Selangor.
Extending the lockdown will be an additional blow for Malaysia’s economy, which the government is currently expecting to bouce back in the last three months of the year. The World Bank on Wednesday slashed its 2021 growth forecast for the nation to 4.5% from 6%. The government said this month it is revising its earlier estimate of 6% to 7.5% due to the lockdown.
Read more: Malaysia Sees Strong Economic Recovery in Final Quarter 2021
The closing of all but essential sectors is costing the economy 1 billion ringgit (7.7 billion baht) a day, Muhyiddin said last week while unveiling a recovery plan. The prime minister unveiled a 40 billion ringgit package at the end of May, the government’s third this year.
Malaysia’s infection rate has declined below 1 since the initial lockdown measures took effect on June 1, from a peak of 1.21 in May when daily cases topped 9,000. Still, new infections remain elevated, with the country adding 5,803 on Saturday alone.
Malaysia expects to transition to the second phase of its recovery plan once new daily cases drop below 4,000, 10% of the population is fully vaccinated, and usage of ICU beds is at moderate capacity, Muhyiddin said earlier in June.