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Malaysia reports 9 new COVID-19 cases as mandatory wearing of face masks kicks in

Malaysia reports 9 new COVID-19 cases as mandatory wearing of face masks kicks in

Pedestrians wearing face mask cross a junction in downtown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Jun 7, 2020. (Photo: AP/Vincent Thian)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia reported nine new COVID-19 infections on Saturday (Aug 1), with seven of them imported cases. 

This brings the total number of cases in the country to 8,985, of which 213 are active cases.

The new imported cases involve five Malaysians and two non-citizens, said health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The two local transmissions are in Kedah and Selangor, he added.

Two COVID-19 patients are still in intensive care, with one requiring ventilator support.

READ: Measures for Singapore-Malaysia travel include minimum 7-day stay-home notice, COVID-19 test

It is compulsory for residents in Malaysia to wear face masks in crowded public places starting Saturday.

According to a Bernama report, people have generally complied with this directive

A ruling for the mandatory use of face masks in crowded public places and on public transportation came into effect in Malaysia on Saturday (Aug 1).

Those caught not wearing masks may face a RM1,000 (US$235) fine, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob had said when he announced the measure.

"I follow all the recommendations set by the government such as washing my hands (with soap) and bathing before gathering with my family," said salesman M Sri Mathavan.

"What the government is doing is right, I will definitely comply (with the government's directives) because I cannot afford to pay the fine. I take at least three face masks with me daily when I go out."

READ: Malaysia’s movement control order may be enforced again if COVID-19 cases reach three digits

Some shoppers said they feel safer with face masks. 

"Previously, I was a bit worried when visiting public places because there are many people who do not wear face masks but today, I found that apart from food places, everyone has started wearing masks," Ms Tan Lean Yee, who visited Jelutong market in Penang. 

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