Asia - Pacific, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Malaysia's admin capital declared COVID-19 'red zone'

Coronavirus cases in Southeast Asian country near 4,000, death toll reaches 63

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 07.04.2020
Malaysia's admin capital declared COVID-19 'red zone'


Malaysia has declared its administrative capital of Putrajaya as “red zone” following a surge in coronavirus cases in the region, the country's Health Ministry said on Monday.

The country’s health chief Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah said Malaysia detected 170 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, taking the national tally of confirmed cases to 3,963. The death toll has reached 63.

Local daily Star newspaper quoted Abdullah as saying that the fatality rate in Malaysia was less than 2%.

Putrajaya, from where the Southeast Asian country's federal government operates, has recorded 41 positive cases, according to state-run news agency Bernama.

Authorities have designated 21 locations across the country as hot spots of the virus outbreak.

Last week, they extended anti-coronavirus measures by another two weeks, until April 14.

The government ordered all business selling daily essentials, including supermarkets and petrol stations, stalls, restaurants, and food delivery services to operate from 8:00 a.m. [0000GMT] to 8:00 p.m. [1200GMT] only.

Besides, it also rolled out an economic stimulus package to support businesses and ease the economic burden on people due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, travelers entering Malaysia are put under a mandatory quarantine of two weeks.

After originating in Wuhan, China late last year, the virus has spread to at least 184 countries and territories.

The virus has infected over 1.35 million people worldwide, while some 292,000 have recovered, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 76,000 have died.

While the crisis abates in China, the rest of the world remains firmly in the grip of the disease.

The number of infections in the U.S., over 368,000, are higher than any other country. The most number of deaths, however, have occurred in Italy and Spain.

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