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Malaysia reports daily record of 5,725 new COVID-19 cases, sharp increase from previous high last week

Malaysia reports daily record of 5,725 new COVID-19 cases, sharp increase from previous high last week

A clinic doctor collects a COVID-19 swab sample from a patient in Selangor, Malaysia on Dec 12, 2020. (Photo: AP/Vincent Thian)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia reported a record 5,725 new COVID-19 cases on Friday (Jan 29) as the country approaches the end of its most recent movement control order (MCO)

The figure reported on Friday was a sharp increase from the country's previous daily high of 4,275 on Jan 23. 

The Klang Valley area accounted for about two-thirds of the new infections, with 3,813 cases. The state of Selangor was the worst-hit, with 3,126 cases while Kuala Lumpur reported 687 new infections. 

There were another 684 cases in Johor while Sabah registered 288. 

READ: COVID-19: Another total lockdown would be ‘very detrimental’ to Malaysia’s economy, says finance minister

READ: Johor bakeries selling Chinese New Year goodies pivot to online sales amid strong demand from Singapore

The health ministry also reported 16 new fatalities, aged 36 to 93, and said that there are currently 301 patients in the intensive care unit, of which 115 are intubated. 

Twelve new clusters were identified, taking the total number of active clusters in the country to 375. Ten of the new clusters are linked to workplaces while two are in the community. 

AUTHORITIES EASE SOME MCO RESTRICTIONS

Malaysia’s finance minister said on Wednesday that the country cannot afford another total lockdown as it would be "very detrimental" to the economy. 

Speaking to CNA in an exclusive interview, Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the current nationwide MCO that had been enforced in all states except Sarawak until Feb 4 had made it harder to achieve the country’s targeted growth forecast.

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

Rules for businesses permitted to operate during the MCO were relaxed on Friday, with certain establishments permitted to stay open until 10pm. A report by the Malay Mail also said night markets would be permitted to operate between 4pm and 10pm. ​​​​​​​

The authorities also allowed couples in long-distance marriages living in states affected by the MCO to travel to meet their spouse. Inter-state travel under the MCO is not permitted unless travellers obtain permission from the authorities.  

Malaysia has reported four-digit daily increases in COVID-19 cases since Dec 9. 

As of Friday, Malaysia has reported 203,933 COVID-19 cases, of which 45,478 are currently classified as active or infectious. There have also been a total of 733 deaths. 

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Source: CNA/bernama/zl(ta)

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