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Malaysia reports 7 new COVID-19 cases

Malaysia reports 7 new COVID-19 cases

A couple wearing protective face masks speak to each other at Kuala Lumpur Tower, amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Malaysia on Jul 2, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Lim Huey Teng)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday (Aug 18) after a week of reporting double-digit infections.

Four of the new cases were imported while three were local transmissions.

The imported cases involved two Malaysians and two non-citizens, said health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah. Three of them had returned from Bangladesh and the other from the United Kingdom.

This brings Malaysia's tally of COVID-19 cases to 9,219, with fatalities remaining at 125.

Dr Noor Hisham also said another 26 patients have recovered from the coronavirus, taking the tally of recoveries to 8,902 or 96.4 per cent of the total number of cases.

In all, Malaysia has 192 active cases, of which eight are in the intensive care unit. Two patients require respiratory support, he said.

READ: Generally smooth process at Singapore-Malaysia border crossing on first day of RGL, PCA

Dr Noor Hisham had said over the weekend that a mutation of the COVID-19 virus that is "10 times" more infectious has been detected in Malaysia.

The D614G mutation was discovered by scientists in July, and is likely to cause current vaccine research to be incomplete or ineffective towards this mutation, he said.

Singapore and Malaysia partially resumed cross-border travel on Monday, the first day of the implementation for the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA).

Hundreds of travellers crossed the 1km-long Causeway in both directions on Monday, some of them on foot and with large pieces of luggage. 

The PCA allows Singapore and Malaysia citizens or permanent residents who hold long-term immigration passes for business and work purposes in the other country to enter that country for work.

Meanwhile, the RGL is for Malaysia and Singapore residents keen to do shorter-term travel of up to 14 days, for essential business and official purposes.

READ: Johor to ask for bus services for RGL, PCA travellers as cross-border travel with Singapore partially resumes

The Johor state government has said that it plans to make a request to the Johor Public Transport Corporation to provide buses for travellers making their way across the Causeway to Singapore on foot.

At the same time, the buses could also ferry travellers entering Malaysia, said State Public Works, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman Mohd Solihan Badri. 

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