Health, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

COVID-19: Malaysia imposes wide-ranging restrictions

Cambodia reports new 12 coronavirus cases, while cluster infections remain concern in South Korea

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 17.03.2020
COVID-19: Malaysia imposes wide-ranging restrictions


Malaysia has announced nationwide restrictions including on religious activities through March 31 amid a growing number of deadly coronavirus cases in the country. 

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Monday that all religious activities in mosques and prayer halls including congregational Friday prayer, sports, and social and cultural events will be postponed as of Wednesday in view of the virus, officially known as COVID-19, according to a statement from his office.

The statement said that Malaysians who returned from outside the country will have to undergo self-quarantine for 14 days to avoid any risk while a complete ban has been imposed on Malaysians traveling overseas, and the entry of foreigners into the country is prohibited for the time being.

Almost all educational institutions in the country have been closed. The statement said that government and private premises have been closed except essential services such as water, electricity, energy, gas, banking, health, pharmacy, and fire prevention.

The country has reported more than 550 cases of coronavirus with no death so far.

After originating in Wuhan, central China last December, the virus has thus far spread to over 150 countries and territories, resulting in death of over 7,00 people, while nearly 183,000 others who have been infected.

Cambodia reports new 12 cases

Neighboring Cambodia said today that country found new 12 cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases to 24.

A statement by the country’s Health Ministry said: “Of the 12 infected, 11 are Khmer Muslims and were among 79 who returned from a Muslim religious event near Kuala Lumpur,” daily Phnom Penh Post reported.

Until Tuesday, the kingdom had reported 12 coronavirus cases, including many involving foreign nationals.

S.Korea cases slow down, concern over clusters

Health officials in South Korea on Tuesday said new infections are falling, but clusters of infection remain a concern.

Stepping up its fight against the disease, South Korea also ordered school closures extended through April 6, government news agency Yonhap reported.

Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that 84 new cases were found on Monday, up from 74 and 76 cases on Sunday and Saturday, respectively, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 8,320.

The virus has claimed the lives of 81 people in South Korea, most of them elderly patients with a history of illnesses.

The daily number of cases in the capital Seoul and neighboring areas is rising, the officials added.

A tour and travel operator from Seoul told Anadolu Agency on the phone that the government is working “very hard to contain the spread of the virus.”

“They are providing every facility to people, however, the daily routine is badly affected,” said Ejaz Ahmad, a businessman based in Seoul.

He said that among many measures, the government is not collecting rent from businessmen who have shops on government property.

“Air travel is down, which has also affected import-export businesses,” he added. “But the government is helping small businesses by giving tax relief.”

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