KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – The Malaysian government said on Saturday it would extend its travel restrictions to most parts of the country, with coronavirus infections nearly tripling over the past month.
Another 1,168 new cases were reported on Saturday, bringing Malaysia’s total to 39,357 – compared with just 13,993 a month ago.
Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said all of the Malaysian peninsula except the three states will be placed under the order of conditional movement control from Monday through December 6. He said the move would help limit spread of the virus and allows to perform targeted screening.
The restrictions went into effect on October 14 in the country’s largest city, Kuala Lumpur, the administrative capital of Putrajaya and the richest state, Selangor.
Malaysia emerged after three months locked in June, and the new outbreak was linked to an election in the state of Sabah on the island of Borneo. Restrictions have also been imposed in Sabah.
By order, schools and all sporting, religious and social events were halted, but businesses could operate as usual with strict measures. Traveling between districts is prohibited and only two people in a household are allowed to go out and buy groceries.
Among other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:
Health authorities in Thailand on Saturday confirmed a new case of local coronavirus transmission, one of a handful to have been discovered in recent months. The Department of Disease Control identified the new case as a 37-year-old Indian man working as a waiter in the southern province of Krabi. It said he had a positive result for the disease when he applied on Wednesday for his work permit extension. Krabi is a province on the Andaman Sea that is often very popular with tourists, although Thailand was completely closed to foreign tourists from early April until last month. The country confirmed a total of 3,830 coronavirus infections, of which 60 were fatal.
– Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that a Cambodian bodyguard to Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto had tested positive for the coronavirus virus. Szijjarto had a positive result when he arrived in Thailand on Tuesday after his visit to Cambodia. He was quarantined before leaving for Hungary on Wednesday, and all of his meetings in Bangkok were canceled. On Saturday, Hun Sen said the bodyguard was the only one of the 900 participants in Szijjarto’s visit to have a positive result. Hun Sen and four ministers in the Cabinet are in quarantine after they met with Szijjarto the same day he got a positive result. Hun Sen said he tested negative and would follow the country’s coronavirus instructions and stay on quarantine for 14 days.
Australia’s Victoria had an eighth consecutive day with no new viral infections or deaths, before another move back to normal life, including unlimited travel outside of Melbourne and resuming flights to New Zealand. Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews is expected to announce again a relaxation of the rules on Sunday, including the lifting of Melbourne’s so-called “steel belt”. No longer limited to a 25 km (15 mile) radius, residents of the city will be allowed to travel across the state. Freedom of movement is expected to reopen when the New South Wales border reopens to Victorians on 23 November. On Monday the state will resume direct flights from New Zealand, the first international flights to Melbourne since June 30. Victoria’s latest wave of virus, which has resulted in more than 18,000 infections and 800 deaths, has been reported outbreaks among staff at the two hotels serve as quarantine venues for foreign arrivals.
India reported 50,356 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, a seventh of which are in the country’s capital, which is struggling with record increases. The confirmed cases of India – currently second in the world after the United States – have exceeded 8.4 million. The Ministry of Health on Saturday also reported 577 deaths, bringing the number of deaths to 125,562. India has seen a steady overall decline in shifts, after hitting nearly 100,000 a day in mid-September. However, New Delhi’s daily truck load surpasses 7,000 for the first time after a drop. down to almost 1,000 last month. There was also a spike in the southern state of Kerala, with 7,002 new cases. New Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain attributed the jump to more active screening and testing. The government warns that the situation could get worse as people flock to the markets for festival shopping, coupled with the onset of winter and high levels of air pollution in the capital. India’s daily recovery was higher than the number of new infections in the past month.
On Saturday, China reported 33 new confirmed cases of coronavirus, all of which were reported by the National Health Commission in virus-infected patients abroad.
Track AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/virus-outbreak and https://apnews.com/UndilitiestheOutbreak