Malaysia Reports Record New Coronavirus Cases for Second Day

Malaysia added a record number of coronavirus cases for a second day on Saturday, just days before the government decides on whether to prolong or tighten curbs on movement that are set to end next week.

The Southeast Asian country registered 5,728 infections on Saturday, after breaching the 5,000 mark for the first time on Friday, according to a tweet by Director General of Health Malaysia Noor Hisham Abdullah. That brings the total tally to 209,661 cases. Malaysia has reported 746 total deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, including 13 on Saturday.

Malaysia imposed a state of emergency and renewed movement restrictions earlier this month as it grapples with a wave of new infections that has stretched its health care system to the breaking point. The current movement curbs are due to end on Feb. 4, but could be extended if new cases show no signs of easing.

Despite the surge in cases, the government has eased some of the lockdown rules in the past few days, including extending operating hours for businesses, and allowing some markets in Selangor to re-open.

Selangor, Malaysia’s richest state, contributed the most number of new infections on Saturday, with 3,285 cases, followed by the southern state of Johor with 792, and Kuala Lumpur at 480. The state also recorded the highest number of new cases on Friday, which Selangor’s chief minister on Saturday said was caused by a backlog of cases from screenings at factories, prisons and in private institutions that did not immediately report their numbers.

— With assistance by Anisah Shukry

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