Malaysia to review COVID-19 rules on social, sports activities amid spike in cases

Malaysia to review COVID-19 rules on social, sports activities amid spike in cases

Health ministry staff collect samples for COVID-19 testing from a resident in Bandar Utama, Malaysia
Health ministry staff collect samples for COVID-19 testing from a resident in Bandar Utama, Malaysia on Oct 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday (Nov 2) ordered a review of regulations on social and sports activities, seeking stricter curbs amid a fresh spike in COVID-19 cases.

In a Facebook post, Muhyiddin said the matter will be discussed by the national security council on Tuesday, and that a decision would hopefully be made immediately.

Muhyiddin said that he was concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia as the country was still reporting an increase in positive cases.

"We can see that many districts in Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Perak and Johor were green zones before this, they are now yellow zones within the span of one ore two weeks," he added.

Malaysia reported 834 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, taking the country's total to 33,339 infections.

All but three of the cases were local transmissions, authorities said.

Malaysia also recorded two new deaths, raising total fatalities from the pandemic to 251.

Of Monday's new cases, 157 were in Selangor, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur.

Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah also said five new clusters were identified - one each in Sabah, Labuan, Negeri Sembilan, Sarawak and Putrajaya.

READ: IN FOCUS - How COVID-19 has disrupted the close links between Singapore and Johor

Malaysia parliamentary session was cut short on Monday after employees working in the Upper House tested positive for COVID-19.

This was the first day of the parliamentary sitting which will see the budget for 2021 being tabled and voted on.

"Some senate employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and some senators have also been suspected to have the virus," said de facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan.

"We have been advised by the Ministry of Health that the risk is very high in our position. Because we are in this enclosed space and the glass divider can only provide a certain amount of protection," he added.

Malaysian senator Ras Adiba Radzi issued a statement indicating that her sister, who is also a special officer, had tested positive for COVID-19.

"Currently, 10 of my family members and I are awaiting our test results. We apologise for the inconvenience that has been caused by what has happened to my family," she said.

WATCH: COVID-19 - Malaysian families board yacht to see family members in Singapore

Malaysia has seen a resurgence in infections in the past month. 

Johor Bahru district was declared a red zone last week, with most of the reported cases involving family members and workplaces.

According to Malaysia's Ministry of Health, an area is considered a red zone when it records 41 cases or more in the span of two weeks. Yellow zone is an area with one to 40 cases and green zone is an area with zero cases.

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Source: Reuters/CNA/aj/zl

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