Malaysia reports record jump in COVID-19 cases amid fears of new lockdown




  • In US
  • 2021-01-07 09:36:58Z
  • By Reuters
Medical worker collects a swab sample from a woman to be tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Shah Alam
Medical worker collects a swab sample from a woman to be tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Shah Alam  

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) -Malaysia reported its biggest daily rise in coronavirus cases on Thursday as the government considered imposing restrictions in some areas, while businesses warned that another nationwide lockdown would further batter the economy.

A jump in infections has spooked investors, with the Kuala Lumpur stock index falling as much as 1.2% on Thursday, a day after authorities said the rise in cases was straining the health system.

The government was considering targeted lockdowns in parts of the country in response, Director-General of Health Noor Hisham Abdullah had said on Wednesday.

The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers said that it supported a partial lockdown but that wider restrictions could cripple businesses already impacted by the pandemic.

"Should a second total lockdown be instituted, there is grave fear over the collapse of the business sectors and economy given that the several major states are the hub and heart of the country's economic activities," the group's president Soh Thian Lai said in a statement.

A lockdown of four weeks or more would reduce business sustainability to one to three months, Soh said.

Malaysia has gradually loosened restrictions since last May, two months after it first closed its borders and began a strict nationwide lockdown.

It began reimposing some curbs after cases started to spike in September. On Thursday the health ministry reported a record 3,027 new infections, raising the total so far to 128,465 cases, including 521 deaths.

The ministry projects that infections will rise to 5,000 cases a day by April if the reproduction number used to measure the virus' spread, known as the R0, remains at 1.1, Noor Hisham said in a Facebook post.

An increase in the R0 value to 1.2 would see cases rising by 8,000 daily by the third week of March, he said.

"We need to reduce the infectivity rate... to 0.5 to stop and curb local transmission," he said.

(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff and A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Martin Petty and Hugh Lawson)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Ghana president warns of health system overload as COVID cases soar
Ghana president warns of health system overload as COVID cases soar

Ghana's COVID-19 infection rates are skyrocketing and include new strains of the virus not before seen in the country, filling treatment centres and...

Portugal
Portugal's health system on brink of collapse as COVID-19 cases surge
  • US
  • 2021-01-17 18:35:18Z

Portugal's public health system is on the verge of collapsing as hospitals in the areas worst-affected by a worrying surge in coronavirus cases are quickly...

Austria extends third COVID-19 lockdown to Feb 8
Austria extends third COVID-19 lockdown to Feb 8

Austria will extend its COVID-19 lockdown, with the goal to start easing restrictions from Feb. 8, the government said on Sunday. Austria, a country of 8.9 ...

Austria extends COVID-19 lockdown, sees hard months ahead
Austria extends COVID-19 lockdown, sees hard months ahead

Austria on Sunday extend its third COVID-19 lockdown into February, hoping to drive down infection rates despite an influx of variants that spread the...

Federal prisons on lockdown in run-up to Biden inauguration
Federal prisons on lockdown in run-up to Biden inauguration

All federal prisons in the United States have been placed on lockdown, with officials aiming to quell any potential violence that could arise behind bars as ...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US