Malaysia reports 919 new COVID-19 cases as Sabah relaxes some restrictions

Malaysia reports 919 new COVID-19 cases as Sabah relaxes some restrictions

Medical worker collects a swab sample from a woman to be tested for the coronavirus in Petaling Jaya
A medical worker collects a COVID-19 swab sample from a woman in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia on Oct 21, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Lim Huey Teng)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia reported 919 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday (Nov 12), raising the country's tally to 43,791 infections. There was also one more death, taking Malaysia's total COVID-19 fatalities to 303.

Sabah accounted for about a third of the new infections, with 319 cases. 

Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said COVID-19 cases in Sabah were stabilising compared to last week and that the situation has been “brought under control”.

A majority of states in Malaysia, including Sabah, are currently under a conditional movement control order (CMCO), as the authorities attempt to tackle the resurgence of COVID-19.

Restrictions under the CMCO, which runs until Dec 6, include a ban on inter-state travel and the closure of schools. 

LISTEN: How Malaysians are getting through a never-ending fight with COVID-19

Sabah Local Government and Housing Minister Masidi Manjun said on Thursday that several standard operating procedures for the Sabah CMCO have been loosened in order to balance the impact of the pandemic and to help Sabah residents lead more normal lives. 

"In the first phase of the CMCO, we received feedback that people could somewhat still survive because there were cash savings to cover the cost of businesses staying closed ... but in the second phase, many have run out of savings and they need to open their businesses to continue to survive," he added. 

Masidi, who is also the COVID-19 spokesperson for Sabah, said the government has taken into account several factors in relaxing some restrictions, such as allowing dine-in services at restaurants, with owners required to adhere to safety measures. 

Wedding ceremonies in Sabah will also be permitted during the CMCO, but solemnisations can only be held at the state’s religious affairs’ office.

KUALA LUMPUR AND KLANG DECLARED "RED ZONES"

Dr Noor Hisham expressed concern about the increase in cases in Selangor’s Klang Valley and Negeri Sembilan.

Selangor recorded 174 new cases on Thursday, with many areas declared "red zones". These zones include Klang, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Sepang. There has also been a spike in coronavirus cases in Negeri Sembilan, with 240 new cases.

Malaysian authorities have repeatedly urged members of the public to abide by COVID-19 measures. 

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Source: Agencies/zl

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