Asia grapples with increasing number of infections

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Record daily high in Malaysia; Hong Kong to shutter nightspots

PUTRAJAYA : Malaysia had another record number of new cases yesterday, Hong Kong shut its bars and nightclubs and Shanghai cancelled many flights as the coronavirus wreaked its usual havoc.

Malaysia recorded 2,188 new Covid-19 cases , beating the record of 1,882 for the highest daily total set on Monday. There were also four deaths, taking total fatalities to 341.

Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said the majority of the cases again came from the Teratai cluster, which reported 1,511 new infections.

The cluster is linked to factory workers of several Top Glove factories in Selangor.

"Several medical and public health assistance teams have been mobilised to the affected areas to conduct prevention and control activities, including a large-scale Covid-19 screening process," said Dr Noor Hisham.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong will close bars, nightclubs and other entertainment venues for the third time this year, Health Secretary Sophia Chan said yesterday as the authorities scrambled to tackle a renewed rise in cases.

The authorities are also reopening a temporary Covid-19 treatment hall near the city's airport.

Hong Kong yesterday reported 80 cases, taking the total to 5,782 infections and 108 deaths.

"There are multiple transmission chains in the community," Ms Chan said.

"We need to tighten all social distancing measures because the pandemic is severe."

Bars and nightclubs, as well as other types of venues such as karaoke and dance halls, will be closed initially for seven days until at least Dec 3.

They were first closed for several weeks in April and again from mid-July to mid-September.

In Shanghai, hundreds of flights were cancelled yesterday as it raced to bring a local outbreak under control.

Health officials have tested thousands of staff at Pudong International Airport since a small cluster of cases in the city was linked to several cargo handlers.

Shanghai has reported seven local infections linked to the airport this month, with most of the cases found in the past few days.- THE STAR, REUTERS, AFP