Beginning from Sunday, Malaysia is going to deploy the army to help enforce travel and movement restrictions focused on controlling the spread of a coronavirus, the government said, as it struggles with the highest number of infections in the region of Southeast Asia.
Since Wednesday, Malaysia has shut down its borders, schools and non-crucial businesses, and requested people to remain at home, warning them of a “tsunami” of cases if the restrictions were not followed.
However, people are still going to restaurants and parks, despite the restrictions, Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said on Friday.
“The army will begin mobilizing on Sunday,” he said during a news briefing. “We are confident with the army’s assistance; we would be better able to enforce this order.”
Legal action, such as arrests, would be used if the curbs continued to be ignored and defied, he said.
Malaysia has 900 infected people, with nearly two-thirds connected to an Islamic gathering last month near the capital of Kuala Lumpur, which captivated 16,000 participants. Authorities are jostling to track every person who attended the gathering.
Public Prayers have been canceled
The Muslim-majority of Malaysia has also canceled Friday prayers at mosques and requested people to pray at home.
Its cases totals for nearly 40 percent of those across Southeast Asia, however, the number has been surging quickly elsewhere, with 50 infections registered in Thailand on Friday making the regional total to about 2,300. More than 670 infections in Southeast Asia are believed to be linked to the Islamic gathering in Malaysia.
On Friday, Vietnam amplified a visa ban as its tally increased to 85.
In Indonesia, President Joko Widodo urged on Thursday for testing to be escalated up immediately, as the death toll shoots up to 25, the region’s highest. Indonesia has encountered criticism from the medical workers for a sluggish start to testing in an archipelago that lounges broader than the continental United States.
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