KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia reported 5,298 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday (Jan 31) as the country continues to battle a sharp spike in infections.
Almost two-thirds of the new infections on Sunday were in the Klang Valley area, comprising Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, with 3,243 cases. Another 1,020 cases were in Johor and 298 in Sabah.
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Fourteen more fatalities were recorded, bringing the death toll to 760. The victims, aged between 36 and 87, were from Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Sarawak. A total of 313 patients are in intensive care units, with 127 requiring respiratory support.
Ten new clusters were identified, of which seven were linked to workplaces. There are 392 active clusters in Malaysia.
Earlier on Sunday, Dr Noor Hisham warned residents in the state of Kelantan to continue observing COVID-19 safe management measures. As of Jan 30, 76.5 per cent of all cases found in Kelantan were detected in January.
The increase in new cases in Kelantan began on Dec 26 and only started to decrease when inter-state travel was prohibited, he wrote on Twitter.
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Malaysia's most recent movement control order (MCO) is scheduled to conclude on Feb 4 in parts of the country. The affected areas are the states of Penang, Selangor, Johor, Sabah, Malacca and Kelantan, and the federal territories of Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur and Labuan.
The Sarawak state government on Sunday said that it would implement an MCO in the districts of Kapit and Song from Feb 2 to Feb 15. The decision was made in light of the increase in COVID-19 cases in the two areas over the past few days, said officials.
All Malaysian states were previously put under the MCO with the exception of Sarawak.
Finance minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz told CNA in an interview that the country cannot afford another total lockdown as it will be “very detrimental” to the economy.
As of Sunday, Malaysia has reported a total of 214,959 COVID-19 cases, of which 48,150 are considered active or infectious.