World

Malaysian PM worried about spike in coronavirus cases

PETALING JAYA : In a special address to the nation on television last night, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said he was worried about the recent spike in Covid-19 cases and asked Malaysians to play their part in breaking the chain of transmission.

He said that in the last two weeks, the number of cases in the country had been on an uptrend, causing three districts - Kotar Setar in Kedah, as well as Lahad Datu and Tawau in Sabah - to be declared red zones.

"Although the country has been successful in curbing the spread of Covid-19, I am worried because the number of positive cases has been rising lately," he said.

He said 615 new cases had been found in the past 14 days.

Although the closing of borders caused hardship to those who had interests outside the country, decisive action had to be taken to protect the people and the country, he said.

"We must strike a fine balance between protecting lives and livelihoods of all Malaysians," he said, adding that they would not rush into opening the country's borders.

Meanwhile, the Philippines confirmed 3,544 infections and 34 more deaths yesterday.

Total infections in the country increased to 269,407, the highest in South-east Asia, while confirmed deaths rose to 4,663.

Indonesia yesterday reported 3,507 infections, taking its total to 225,030.

The number of deaths rose by 124 to 8,965, the highest in South-east Asia.

In Hong Kong, Health Secretary Sophia Chan said bars, swimming pools and theme parks will reopen from Friday.

The announcement comes days after the Chinese special administrative region reopened gyms and entertainment venues and increased the number of people allowed to gather to four.- THE STAR, REUTERS

WORLD