Malaysia PM Muhyiddin to announce new Covid-19 measures as deaths hit daily record

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) – Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will announce new measures next week to curb a surge in coronavirus cases, a senior minister said on Friday (Jan 8), as the country reported its highest daily number of deaths linked to the epidemic.

The Southeast Asian nation has seen a spike in infections since September, with the number of daily reported cases climbing to record highs on two days this week.

Friday’s death toll of 16 took total Covid-19 fatalities to 537. The health ministry also reported 2,643 new infections, raising the total number of cases to 131,108.

The government has said it was considering imposing targeted lockdowns in some areas, though businesses warned that wider restrictions could further batter the economy.

Muhyiddin will announce new measures to tackle the virus surge on Monday, security minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob told reporters.

“We are refining and looking at the new measures in detail to ensure that they work for everyone,” he said during a televised news conference.

Separately, science minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the country’s pharmaceutical regulator has issued a conditional approval for the vaccine manufactured by US and German drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech to be used in Malaysia.

“We are still waiting for a few additional info from Pfizer but this means it can be used in Malaysia,” Khairy posted on his Twitter account.

Malaysia, which has purchased 12.8 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot, is expected to receive its first shipment of the vaccine next month.

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