|A medical worker collects a swab sample from a woman to be tested for COVID-19 in Shah Alam, Malaysia on Jan 7, 2021. (Photo by= Reuters/Lim Huey Teng)|
[Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] Malaysia's King Al-Sultan Abdullah on Tuesday (Jan 12) declared a state of emergency across the country to curb the spread of COVID-19, the palace said in a statement. The emergency will last until Aug 1 or earlier depending on the state of coronavirus infections, palace comptroller Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said in the statement.
The decision was made after Sultan Abdullah met with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin at the national palace on Monday. "During a 45-minute face-to-face session starting at 5.30 pm yesterday, Tan Sri Muhyiddin bin Yassin presented the results of the Cabinet Meeting on the proposed implementation of the proclamation of a state of emergency as a proactive measure to curb and address the positive COVID-19 daily cases that have continuously reached four figures since last December," the statement said.
The number of new daily infections in Malaysia hit a record high last week, breaching the 3,000 marks for the first time. Total coronavirus cases passed 138,000 on Monday, with 555 deaths. The King's decision was also based on data showing how the healthcare system was under logistical constraints, the statement said. Interstate travel is banned across the country, while travel between districts is not allowed for the states under MCO, said Mr. Muhyiddin.