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Sarawak reports more than 400 students in Miri infected so far

PETALING JAYA: While the health authority in Malaysia aims to vaccinate all 500,000 teachers against Covid-19 in the second phase of the national programme that starts today, Sarawak reported that more than 400 students in Miri have been infected so far.

Minister-in-charge Lee Kim Shin saidyesterday: "As medical facilities at Miri Hospital and quarantine and treatment centres are almost reaching full capacity, the committee has decided that schools in Miri be temporarily closed for face-to-face teaching for 14 days.

"They should revert to teaching and learning at home as soon as possible to curb the spread of the virus in schools."

Malaysia crossed the 2,000 mark again with 2,195 new cases yesterday, bringing the total to 375,054.

In a tweet, Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said Sarawak recorded the highest number of cases at 508, followed by Selangor (431), Johor (387) and Kelantan (332).

Eight deaths were recorded, bringing the total number of fatalities to 1,378.

Education Minister Mah Hang Soon said some 10 per cent of teachers have been vaccinated in phase one of the immunisation programme.

"There are over 500,000 teachers nationwide. We are trying really hard to get the remaining teachers included in the second phase," he said on Saturday.

THAILAND

Meanwhile, Thailand reported 1,767 new cases yesterday, marking the highest number of daily cases since the start of the pandemic and the sixth record daily tally this week, amid a third wave of infections in the country.

Two deaths were reported.

The new cases took the total number of infections to 42,352, and 101 fatalities.

New restrictions which began yesterday include an alcohol ban in restaurants and bars in Bangkok, while entertainment venues will be shuttered across the country for two weeks.

Political opponents of Premier Prayut Chan-o-cha have criticised his administration's handling of the virus, and the slow roll-out of the vaccine.

By Saturday, 605,000 doses of both Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines had been administered. - THE STAR, REUTERS, AFP

WORLD