Malaysia Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin delivered updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic from his home today as he undergoes two-week quarantine that began yesterday.
Muhyiddin, 73, had come into contact with Religious Affairs Minister Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri, who tested positive yesterday. They were in Sabah together. Other politicians ordered to quarantine at home include the health chief himself, Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah.
The Prime Minister addressed the nation at 6pm via Facebook live, hours after the country recorded its highest daily new increase in infections.
Muhyiddin called the new wave of infections a “very worrying development” without mentioning whether the recent Sabah state elections had anything to do with it. He also expects the number to continue to rise as more tests take place but there are no plans to call for a second nationwide lockdown.
“I expect the number of infections to rise because the Health Ministry is aggressively testing people for COVID-19,” he said, noting that the virus has spread widely in Sabah and Kedah’s detention centers. “The new increase in cases is related to infections in Sabah and Kedah, where the virus has spread among detainees in detention centers.”
“Health Director-General Noor Hisham has confirmed with me that we have enough facilities and ventilators to treat the virus. We’re not better prepared than before to handle the pandemic as we have more experience,” he added.
Authorities will enforce separate lockdowns in areas where the infection rate is high, he said.
“We will not implement a total lockdown on the country as it will be detrimental to the economy. Instead, we will enforce lockdown measures in certain areas where the virus is widespread.”
Muhyiddin already tested negative for the virus after returning from the Sabah elections earlier last week. He was in Sabah campaigning for the state elections that drew more than a million citizens to the polls.
Unfortunately, being in close contact with Zulkifli meant that Muhyiddin was required to undergo more swab tests and two weeks of home-isolation until results came out negative.
Malaysia recorded the highest number of new COVID-19 infections today at 691. The country has a total of 13,504 infections, and the death toll stands at 141.
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This article, Quarantined PM Muhyiddin Yassin delivering COVID update from home, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.