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With 45 fatalities, Malaysia logs its highest daily Covid death toll

It may consider total lockdown of Selangor if current curbs fail

KUALA LUMPUR Malaysia yesterday reported 45 Covid-19 fatalities, its highest daily death toll so far.

The Health Ministry also recorded 4,446 new infections, raising the total number to 474,556. The total number od deaths stands at 1,947 so far. Malaysia has recorded the third-highest number of infections in South-east Asia behind Indonesia and the Philippines.

The Health Ministryyesterday said it may push for a total lockdown of Selangor, the country's most industrialised state, if current curbs are unable to rein in a spike in new cases.

The government banned social activities and travel between districts and states two weeks ago, as part of a movement control order (MCO) imposed before the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays.

Businesses can still operate, but the government may shut that down in the state of Selangor if the situation worsens, Health Minister Adham Baba said.

"If the MCO is unable to contain the spread, then a full MCO would be something that can be considered," Dr Adham told a virtual news conference.

Selangor has reported well over 1,000 new cases daily since May 5, making up at least a quarter of the daily cases nationally.

Unorthodox measures are also being rolled out as Malaysia's healthcare system is stretched thin.

MAKESHIFT MORGUE

Not only are military-built hospitals being deployed, "field ICUs" are set to be rolled out in Penang, where critical care capacity has breached 100 per cent, while the surge in deaths has forced Sungai Buloh Hospital, Klang Valley's main coronavirus treatment facility, to use a shipping container as a makeshift morgue.

In Thailand, case numbers hit a record high yesterday. The kingdom reported a new daily high of nearly 10,000 cases, more than two-thirds of them in prisons.

The country's Covid-19 task force reported 9,635 cases, 6,853 of which were among prisoners. Nearly half of 24,000 inmates tested at eight prisons, mainly in Bangkok and its suburbs, were found to have the virus. - REUTERS, THE STRAITS TIMES

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