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Malaysia reports 4,094 new COVID-19 cases, 10 deaths as authorities ease some restrictions

Malaysia reports 4,094 new COVID-19 cases, 10 deaths as authorities ease some restrictions

A worker rests beside the coffin of a COVID-19 victim before a burial at a cemetery, in Batu Caves, Malaysia on Jan 27, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Lim Huey Teng)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia reported 4,094 new COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths on Thursday (Jan 28), even as authorities moved to relax some movement control order (MCO) restrictions.  

The Klang Valley area, comprising Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, accounted for about half of the new cases with a total of 2,255 infections. Johor registered 717 new COVID-19 cases while 282 were detected in Sabah. 

The 10 fatalities were in Selangor, Sabah, Kuala Lumpur, Kedah and Sarawak. The youngest of them was a 22-year-old man who had no history of other medical ailments.

Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said nine more clusters were identified, taking the total number of active clusters in the country to 372.

READ: COVID-19: Malaysian business owners and trade groups urge against another full lockdown 

READ: Hotel Equatorial Penang to shut down over COVID-19 impact

Five of the new clusters involve workplaces. Three others are in the community, including one that was sparked by a social gathering in Sarawak. The remaining cluster involves medical personnel at a Melaka hospital. 

There are currently 303 patients in the intensive care unit, with 118 requiring ventilation support. 

Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaacob on Thursday announced that all businesses permitted to operate during the MCO will be allowed to stay open until 10pm. 

Among them are sundry shops, convenience stores, pharmacies, pet shops, laundrettes and optical shops.

“Previously, these businesses were allowed to operate until 8pm only. The National Security Council met and agreed to extend the operating hours of restaurants and other shops to 10pm following a risk evaluation carried out by the Ministry of Health," he said.

“We know there has been a lot of confusion, which has made it difficult in terms of enforcement due to the different operating hours, and applications from the affected business sectors to extend the duration of their business operations."

READ: Malaysia's traders anticipated a sales boom before Chinese New Year, but the MCO has dented their hopes

READ: Malaysia COVID-19 restrictions to be extended in 6 states, 3 federal territories until Feb 4

Ismail Sabri added that the forestry and timber sectors and all operations involving logging will operate as usual from Friday.

As of Thursday, Malaysia has reported a total of 198,208 COVID-19 cases, of which 43,192 are classified as active or infectious. There have also been 717 deaths. 

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Source: CNA/bernama/zl(gs)

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