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Malaysian leaders meet to discuss extension of Covid-19 curbs

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia's National Security Council will have a special meeting today to discuss a possible extension of the coronavirus curbs beyond Thursday, said Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

"The meeting will be chaired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and we will hear the report from the Health Ministry before any decision is made," he said yesterday.

When asked if more sectors should be closed owing to the high number of daily cases, especially within the last three days, he said there has to be a balance.

"We don't want our (people) to die from Covid-19, but at the same time we don't want them to die of starvation."

Malaysia recorded 4,214 cases yesterday, bringing the total to 219,173. There were 10 deaths, bringing the toll to 770.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong will extend social distancing measures for a further two weeks until after the Chinese New Year holiday and will impose stricter testing rules when cases of Covid-19 are detected.

The measures, which include a ban on more than two people gathering and dining in restaurants after 6pm local time, will remain in place until Feb 17.

"More time is needed before we see a substantial improvement," Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung said yesterday.

The government will require all residents to get tested if a single untraceable infection is found in their building.

Schools will remain closed.

Hong Kong has been logging double-digit daily case numbers for several weeks with 34 infections recorded yesterday, down from Sunday's 53. - THE STAR, REUTERS

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