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Full Covid-19 lockdown may be extended, says Malaysia's health minister

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia’s total lockdown to suppress the spread of Covid-19 — which is slated to end on June 14 — may be extended if the number of daily infections remains high, said the country’s health minister Adham Baba.

Full Covid-19 lockdown may be extended, says Malaysia's health minister

A food delivery man wearing a face mask rides on an empty street during the lockdown.

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia’s total lockdown to suppress the spread of Covid-19 — which is slated to end on June 14 — may be extended if the number of daily infections remains high, said the country’s health minister Adham Baba.

He alluded to the extension as the daily infections are still above the 4,000 a day threshold that has been set by the government to end the lockdown.

“After eight days of full lockdown, the number of daily infections is still above 5,000 with the daily average hovering at 6,871 cases,” Dr Adham said at a joint press conference with minister of science and technology Khairy Jamaluddin.

“Our goal was to bring down the number of daily cases to 4,000 within seven days of the lockdown.”

On May 29, prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that Malaysians will be placed under a total lockdown (Phase 1) from June 1 to 14. The decision was made after the daily Covid-19 tally exceeded 8,000 cases.

He had said if Phase 1 was successful, the government will impose a four-week Phase 2 lockdown by allowing the reopening of a few economic sectors that do not involve large crowds.

Although the number of cases has remained high, Dr Adham said the infectivity rate or R-naught (R0) has dipped below 1.0 and is currently at 0.96.

He said the lockdown may not have achieved its initial target, but it has shown to be successful in bringing down the daily infections.

“The Ministry of Health is of the opinion that this method should be continued nationwide,” he said.

In the past 24 hours, Malaysia reported 6,239 new Covid-19 cases. The fresh cases took the national caseload to 633,891. THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT  

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