Malaysia reports sharpest spike in new coronavirus cases in 3 months

Malaysia reports sharpest spike in new coronavirus cases in 3 months

FILE PHOTO: Shoppers wearing protective masks shop in Chinatown, amid the coronavirus disease (COVI
FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Shoppers wearing protective masks shop in Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Aug 18, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng/File Photo)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's health authorities reported 62 new coronavirus cases on Monday (Sep 7), the sharpest spike since early June, just as the government began barring long-term immigration pass holders from countries with high infection numbers.

From Monday, Southeast Asia's third-largest economy imposed a ban on pass holders from 23 countries that have reported more than 150,000 COVID-19 cases, in a bid to clamp down on imported cases. Countries on the ban list include the United States, Britain and France.

Of the total new cases reported on Monday, 50 were detected in an existing cluster in Sabah state on Malaysian Borneo, stemming from the detention of two undocumented migrants two weeks earlier, the health ministry said.

READ: Malaysia’s recovery movement control order extended to Dec 31, tourists still not allowed in: PM Muhyiddin

READ: COVID-19: Malaysia bars entry for long-term pass holders from India, Indonesia and Philippines

The others were detected in a new cluster in the northern state of Kedah and six arrivals from Turkey, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Egypt, the ministry said in a statement.

Monday's new infections were the largest since Jun 4, when 277 cases and one death were reported.

Malaysia has so far avoided the kind of contagion seen in neighbors the Philippines and Indonesia, which have 238,727 and 196,989 cases respectively. Indonesia death toll of 8,130 is the region's highest.

Malaysia currently has 9,459 confirmed coronavirus infections, of which 128 led to deaths. 

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Source: Reuters/ic

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