Fewer than 2,000 Malaysian Covid-19 cases for first time since Jan 4

PUTRAJAYA The improvement in Covid-19 daily case figures in Malaysia is a positive development, said its Health Ministry.

Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said infections in the country have declined steadily after the implementation of the emergency ordinance on Jan 11.

"This is the first time since the ordinance was enforced that Malaysia has gone back to reporting fewer than 2,000 daily cases.

"This is a positive development and hopefully the situation will continue to improve," Dr Noor Hisham said yesterday.

Malaysia recorded 1,924 cases yesterday. There were 12 deaths taking the toll to 1,100.

The last time the country's daily cases went below 2,000 was on Jan 4, when 1,741 new infections were reported. This was before the second movement control order was imposed on Jan 13 in several states.

Meanwhile, Indonesia will receive at least two million doses of a coronavirus vaccine produced by China's Sinopharm for use in a private vaccination scheme due to run alongside a national inoculation programme, Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said.

Indonesia, which has faced one of the biggest Covid-19 outbreaks in Asia, aims to vaccinate 181.5 million people within a year using vaccines made by companies such as Sinovac Biotech, Novavax and AstraZeneca.

"What's fixed is two million (doses). Three million is our hope... we will vaccinate employees in stages," Mr Pandjaitan said yesterday.

The private plan has been pushed by Indonesian businesses as a way for companies to buy vaccines from the government so that their employees can be vaccinated in order to help prop up the country's battered economy. - THE STAR, REUTERS