Malaysia sets daily virus cases record but death toll remains low

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Covid

Malaysia recorded 1,884 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, the Health Ministry announced, the most of any day since the virus emerged.

Two people died on Monday, the Ministry said, taking the country’s coronavirus-related death toll to 337.
The daily record topped the 1,775 reported on November 6 and comes during a resurgence after months of reporting single-digit and low double-digits per day.

There have been over 56,000 cases reported since the first was diagnosed on January 25. Around 42,000 of that total are listed as recovered by the Health Ministry.

Malaysia’s caseload was below 10,000 as recently as September 15, before numbers subsequently spiked first in Sabah, one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo.

Malaysia shares Borneo with Brunei and Indonesia and its easternmost region sits across a narrow stretch of sea from the southern Philippines.

Indonesia and the Philippines have recorded almost one million coronavirus cases between them, with Indonesia’s total topping 500,000 on Monday.

An estimated one million migrants from neighbouring countries work in Sabah, a major palm oil producing region, and officials have partly blamed illegal immigration for the recent spike.

The government had reimposed some restrictions but has rejected reinstating the strict lockdown in place from March 18 to May 4, saying it would cause the economy to shed two billion ringgit (488 million dollars) a day.

The government faces a key parliamentary vote this week on its 2021 budget. It proposes spending the equivalent of one-fifth of gross domestic product after pledging a similar amount of emergency fiscal spending during the lockdown.

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