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Malaysia imposes restrictions in capital as virus cases rise

Wed 5th May, 2021 12:51pm
KUALA LUMPUR, May 5 (Reuters) - Malaysia on Wednesday
imposed movement restrictions in the capital Kuala Lumpur due to
a rising number of COVID-19 infections, adding to lockdowns that
have been implemented across the country. 
    The capital will be subjected to some lockdown measures from
Friday for two weeks, including a ban on social activities,
dining indoors, and inter-district travel, Defence Minister
Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a statement.
    Several parts of the surrounding Selangor state, Malaysia's
richest region, will also go into lockdown later this week. 
    Malaysia has seen a resurgence in coronavirus infections in
recent weeks, with the country reporting 3,744 new cases on
Wednesday. It has now seen a total of 424,376 cases. 
    The Southeast Asian nation began a COVID-19 vaccination
drive in February with the Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinovac shots. On
Wednesday, it launched a parallel inoculation programme for
people who volunteered to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine amid
public fears over its safety. 
    This month, Malaysia also detected its first case of a
highly infectious coronavirus variant first identified in India.
    It has banned flights to and from India and prohibited
travellers from any Indian destination from entering the country
to help prevent the spread of the new variant.
    On Wednesday, Ismail Sabri said Malaysia will also ban entry
of nationals from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal, on
top of a ban on Indian citizens.        

 (Reporting by Mei Mei Chu, writing by A. Ananthalakshmi,
editing by Mark Heinrich)
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