Malaysia sees 15,573 new Covid-19 cases, 144 deaths

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia reported 15,573 new Covid-19 infections in the highest daily spike since the outbreak, bringing the national total to 980,491, the Health Ministry said Friday.

Health Ministry Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said at a press conference that 32 of the new cases are imported and 15,541 are local transmissions. He said 144 more deaths have been reported, pushing the death toll to 7,718.

Over 10,090 more patients have been released after recovery, bringing the total cured and discharged to 825,387, or 84.8 percent of all cases.

Of the remaining 147,386 active cases, 939 are being held in intensive care units and 456 of those are in need of assisted breathing.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh on Friday reimposed a ‘stricter’ 14-day nationwide shutdown to contain the spread of coronavirus, amid mounting fear that easing of restrictions ahead of Eid when tens of millions of people returned to their villages may result in a rise in COVID-19 cases.

The government said everyone must stay indoors as offices, courts, garment factories and all other export-oriented industries will remain closed.

The stricter lockdown has been ordered for the next 14 days unlike the previous restrictions export-oriented factories will come under its purview, a cabinet division spokesman said on Friday.

Junior minister for public administration Farhad Hossain said: this lockdown will be stricter than the one imposed last time.

His comments came as army troops and paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) personnel joined hands with police in enforcing the shutdown on the streets of the capital Dhaka and other cities and their entry points.

Dhaka streets were largely deserted and commuters were seen walking to their destination on the first day of the 14-day stricter lockdown. The security personnel in uniform have set up makeshift checkpoints to restrict peoples’ movement without emergency needs.

According to the directorate general of health services (DGHS), Bangladesh on Friday reported 166 Covid-19 deaths, the lowest in the 17 days, while 6,364 new infections were recorded.

The overall death toll now stands at 18,851 and the total number of Covid-19 cases has gone up to 11,46,564, it said.