KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 — The government has decided to completely restrict all social and economic activities nationwide from June 1 to 14, after Malaysia hit a record high 8,290 new Covid-19 cases today.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said should this fortnight-long “total lockdown” — when only essential services will be allowed to operate — succeed in reducing daily coronavirus infections, a second phase lockdown will be implemented, where several economic sectors that do not involve large gatherings will be reopened.
This second lockdown will be imposed for four weeks after the first.
“After the end of the Phase Two lockdown, the next step will be Phase Three, which is the enforcement of movement restrictions that are currently in effect, where social activities are not permitted but almost all economic sectors are permitted to operate, subject to tight standard operating procedures (SOPs) and physical distancing in limited workplaces,” Muhyiddin said in a statement today.
“However, the decision to move from one phase to another will be subject to risk evaluations by the Ministry of Health, Malaysia. Evaluations will be done based on the development of current daily cases and hospital capacity nationwide to treat Covid-19 patients.”
He did not state how long Phase Three movement restrictions would last.
The prime minister pledged to increase hospital capacity and to increase the Covid-19 vaccination rate in the next few weeks.
“Following the government’s decision to fully shutter the economic and social sectors, the Finance Ministry will spell out an assistance package for affected citizens and economic sectors. An announcement on the assistance package will be made in due time.”
As of yesterday, just 5.3 per cent of Malaysia’s total population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine.
A total of 2,552 people have died from Covid-19 in Malaysia, after 61 new fatalities were reported today. A total of 808 Covid-19 cases are currently under intensive care, as well as 403 on ventilator support. In less than a month, as of today, Malaysia has reported 137,920 new Covid-19 cases.
Hospital beds nationwide, including in intensive care units (ICU), have been filled or running at over-capacity during this brutal new wave of Malaysia’s Covid-19 epidemic, amid the spread of new and more transmissible variants in the community.