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Malaysia extends strict partial lockdown to all states except Sarawak

PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian government yesterday said it will extend its strict partial lockdown to all states except Sarawak, following an increase in the number of Covid-19 positive cases in those states.

The six new states to be placed under the Movement Control Order (MCO) from Friday are Kedah, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Terengganu and Perlis.

"Following advice from the Health Ministry, we have decided to enforce an MCO on these states until Feb 4," said Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob in his daily Covid-19 briefing.

OTHER STATES

Six other states including economically-dominant Selangor, Johor and Penang, and the three federal territories including Kuala Lumpur, were placed under the MCO last week for two weeks.

Malaysia recorded 3,631 cases yesterday, taking the total to 165,371. Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said there were also 14 deaths, taking the toll to 169.

Dr Noor Hisham said seven of the 14 were in Selangor, two in Johor and one each in Perak, Kedah, Kelantan, Sarawak and Labuan.

Meanwhile, Indonesia reported a record daily increase of 308 deaths yesterday, taking the toll to 26,590. It also recorded 10,365 new cases, taking the total to 927,380.

Indonesia has the highest number of cases and deaths from Covid-19 in South-east Asia.

In the Philippines yesterday, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the country will buy 20 million doses of Moderna's vaccine, adding to deals for a total of 72 million doses from AstraZeneca, Novavax and Sinovac.

With more than 504,000 cases and nearly 10,000 deaths as of yesterday, the Philippines has the second highest level of infections in South-east Asia.

President Rodrigo Duterte has said he preferred that the Philippines sources its vaccines from either China or Russia, and yesterday, Food and Drug Administration chief Rolando Enrique Domingo told PTV network that late-stage clinical trial applications from Sinovac and Clover Biopharmaceuticals have been approved.

Mr Duterte wants to take the Sinovac vaccine as soon as it is available, but without media coverage of the vaccination, Mr Roque said. - THE STAR, REUTERS

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