KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's prime minister says a total coronavirus lockdown will be imposed in the country, with all business and economic activities to be halted for two weeks to contain a worsening outbreak.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the decision to implement the lockdown starting June 1 came after new infections breached 8,000 on Friday for the first time, sparking fears the disease could spiral out of control.
The government earlier this month imposed a near lockdown until June 7, stopping short of shutting down businesses to prevent a possible economic catastrophe. But new infections have climbed since the recent Muslim Eid festival, crossing 6,000 on May 19 for the first time and soaring to 8,290 on Friday.
This raised the country’s total cases to 549,514. The health ministry also reported another 61 deaths Friday, pushing the tally to 2,552 — nearly 40% recorded this month alone. Malaysia's total cases and deaths have jumped nearly five-fold compared to all of last year.