scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Saturday, June 19, 2021

Malaysia declares nationwide lockdown as COVID-19 cases spike

The lockdown measures in Malaysia will continue until June 7


May 11, 2021 7:46:07 am
Motorists ride past wearing face masks in front of the Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (AP)

Malaysia on Monday imposed a new nationwide lockdown, as the country grapples with a surge in coronavirus cases and highly infectious variants that the government said are testing its health system.

The new measures come just ahead of this week’s Eid al-Fitr festival, meaning that millions of Malaysians will have to forgo for a second year the tradition of returning to hometowns at the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said all inter-state and inter-district travel will be banned, along with social gatherings.

Educational institutions will be shut but economic sectors will be allowed to continue, Muhyiddin said, without elaborating.

“Malaysia is facing a third wave of COVID-19 that could trigger a national crisis,” Muhyiddin said in a statement, adding that the lockdown measures will continue until June 7.

The premier said the lockdown was necessary due to the existence of new coronavirus variants with higher infection rates and growing constraints on the public health system.

Malaysia has seen a spike in coronavirus infections in recent weeks, with the country reporting 3,807 new cases on Monday.

It has now seen a total of 444,484 cases and 1,700 deaths.

Malaysia is under a state of emergency, which was declared by Muhyiddin in January to curb the spread of COVID-19.

As well as the disruption of travel and to social lives, the repeated lockdowns have become a threat to the livelihoods of many in Malaysia.

Ramadan would normally have meant brisk business for restaurants and food bazaars preparing meals for millions of Muslims who break fast after sundown. About 60% of Malaysia’s population of 32 million are Muslim.

“I work in the food industry. One moment it’s open, one moment it’s closed,” said Mohd Rezuan, speaking during a break from his work at a restaurant in a normally busy suburb of Kuala Lumpur, now unnaturally quiet.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest World News, download Indian Express App.

  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
0 Comment(s) *
* The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by indianexpress.com.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement