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Malaysia’s daily coronavirus infections hit new high of 2,593 cases

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's daily coronavirus infections hit a new high of 2,593 cases yesterday, with the number of active cases filling hospital beds to near full capacity.

The country's richest and most developed state, Selangor, continued to record the most infections with 965 cases, followed by Johor with 571 cases.

Sabah recorded 405 cases, while the capital Kuala Lumpur recorded 256 cases.

Total active cases also continued to climb, reaching 24,347 cases or nearly 85 per cent of the country's 28,674 hospital beds set aside for Covid-19 patients.

The country's cumulative cases now stand at 125,438 cases since the pandemic began. Malaysia has consistently reported four-digit daily infections since the start of the third wave of a pandemic that began in September following the Sabah state legislative elections.

The previous peak of new daily infections was 2,525, reported less than a week ago.

Indonesia also recorded its biggest daily rise in infections yesterday with 8,854 cases, bringing the total number to 788,402.

It also reported 187 deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 23,296. Indonesia has reported the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in South-east Asia.

The country will impose two weeks of increased restrictions in parts of Java from next Monday and on the resort island of Bali, to support hospitals and reduce fatality rates, a minister said yesterday.

Chief Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto said some of the measures include changes to opening hours for malls, and limited capacity at restaurants and places of worship.

Meanwhile, Indonesia's highest Muslim clerical council hopes to issue a ruling on whether a Covid-19 vaccine is halal, or permissible under Islam, before the country is due to start a mass inoculation programme using a Chinese vaccine next week.

The country plans to launch vaccinations on next Wednesday after obtaining three million doses from China's Sinovac Biotech.

"Hopefully the edict can be declared before the government starts its vaccination programme," said Ms Muti Arintawati, an official with the Indonesian Ulema Council. - THE STRAITS TIMES, REUTERS