Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Friday announced a nationwide “total lockdown” starting in June as coronavirus infections in the country spiked to record levels.
Muhyiddin said the stricter lockdown from June 1 to 14 was for all social and economic areas, and that only significant services and economic sectors would remain in operation, which would be listed by the national security council.
The COVID-19 spread in the Southeast Asian nation in recent weeks has been more severe, partly due to highly transmissible coronavirus variants. Hospitals are also strained.
“With the latest rise in daily cases showing a drastically upward trend, hospital capacity across the country to treat COVID-19 patients are becoming limited,” Muhyiddin said in a statement.
It reported 61 deaths on Friday, taking the total to 2,552.
Malaysia has started its COVID-19 inoculation drive, though critics say the rollout has been slow. About 1.7 million people have received at least one dose of a vaccine as of Thursday.