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Malaysia closes its borders

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: A shopper takes a picture at an empty shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur yesterday - Vincent Thian, AP

The government of Malaysia announced yesterday it is shutting its borders to travellers, restricting domestic movement, closing schools and universities and ordering most businesses closed after the number of Covid-19 coronavirus cases climbed yesterday to the highest in Southeast Asia. Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin made a nationally televised speech announcing the measures, which will be in force beginning tomorrow until March 31.

Malaysia yesterday confirmed a daily jump of 125 cases to 553, well over half of them linked to an Islamic gathering attended by around 16,000 people, including 1,500 from outside Malaysia.

Schools and universities will be shuttered, as will government offices and private business (except those providing essential services). Foreigners will not be allowed to enter or leave the country.

“These actions must be taken by the government to stem the spread of the pandemic that may take the lives of our country’s people.”

Malaysia closes its borders | News by Thaiger

PHOTO: – Reuters

So far, 338 of Malaysia’s cases have been linked to the religious gatherings at a mosque in Kuala Lumpur which ran from Feb 28 to March 1. Malaysia’s health minister says that of the 14,500 Malaysians who attended the event, just 7000 have come forward for testing, despite repeated pleas from government and religious leaders.

The gathering has been linked to cases in Singapore, Brunei and Cambodia.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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