Malaysia imposes nationwide restrictions over new Covid-19 wave

Bangkok, May 12 (EFE).- Malaysia imposed new restrictions Wednesday on social activities and travel countrywide until Jun. 7 amid a new Covid-19 wave.

Restrictions were announced in a statement from Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who said the increase in cases and detection of the Indian variant of the coronavirus has put great pressure on the health system.

The country, one of the most affected by the pandemic in Southeast Asia, has more than 444,000 infections and 1,700 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

Measures do not affect most companies, but restaurants will not be able to welcome customers and mass social events are prohibited, while travel between districts and states is not allowed, except for work or health reasons.

The measures come on the eve of Wednesday’s and Thursday’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri religious celebrations, when Muslims return home at the end of the Ramadan fast.

This is the third time the country has imposed restrictions due to a Covid-19 outbreak, although they’re less severe than those approved in January, February and last year.

The pandemic has hit immigrants especially hard, including those who worked in the factories of the world’s largest latex glove maker, Top Glove, which in November had to close 28 plants in Malaysia due to an outbreak.

Malaysia began to negotiate the purchase of vaccines against Covid-19 and has agreed to receive up to 32 million doses of the one manufactured jointly by the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer (United States) and BioNtech (Germany.)

Malaysian pharmaceutical company Pharmaniaga reached an agreement with China’s Sinovac to receive and distribute 14 million vaccines.

The government’s goal is to vaccinate 80 percent of its 32 million inhabitants by February 2022.

However, the pace of the campaign is slower than provided by supply problems and so far have only inoculated about 1 million people — 3 percent of the population. EFE


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