Rest of Asia

Covid-19: Malaysia indefinitely extends lockdown amid surging cases

Tamanna Sajeed /Kuala Lumpur Filed on June 28, 2021

The nationwide curbs were supposed to end on Sunday.

Malaysia’s nationwide lockdown, which was scheduled to expire on Monday, will be extended indefinitely, informed the government on late Sunday as Covid-19 cases continue to increase.

Defense Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a statement that conditions have not been met for easing the lockdown measures, as the country has confirmed over 5,000 new infections and double-digits over the past week, reported Kyodo News.

To make things worse, the intensive care unit bed occupancy is almost full and only 6.4 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated as of Sunday.

The government has said the lockdown measures will be eased only when daily Covid-19 cases fall below a weekly average of 4,000 and providing other conditions are also cleared.

Under the lockdown, only essential manufacturing and services sectors are allowed to operate and shopping malls, schools and public parks are closed. The movement of people is also restricted, with two people per household allowed to go out. Journeys between states and districts in the country has been banned.

This is the nation’s second lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic, following one between March and May last year when the border was shut and the economy ground to a halt, Kyodo News reported.

Several countries have extended Covid-induced lockdowns due to a resurgence of infections, reported to be primarily caused by the Delta variant.

Australia on Saturday extended lockdown for 14 days in Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong to curb the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

Restrictions will also be imposed on regional New South Wales (NSW), with no more than five visitors allowed in homes, 50 per cent capacity at outdoor events, mandatory indoor mask-wearing and the one person per four square metres rule back for all indoor and outdoor settings, reported The Sydney Morning Herald.

Tamanna Sajeed

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