Covid-19 cases in the country remained above the 3,000 mark as Malaysia entered the sixth day of the second movement control order.
In a statement, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the country recorded 3,306 new Covid-19 cases on Monday (Jan 18).
This takes the tally up to 161,740.
Four people also died due to the coronavirus, raising Malaysia’s Covid-19 death toll to 605.
The country also discharged 2,293 Covid-19 patients, which means 122,344 people have recovered.
The number of people with active Covid-19 infections in Malaysia has gone up to 38,791.
Currently, 226 patients are in intensive care, with 94 requiring ventilator support.
A total of 3,339 Covid-19 cases were recorded on Sunday (Jan 17) with 15 of them being imported cases, says the Health Ministry.
There were also seven deaths recorded, bringing the total number of deaths to 601.
The ministry said since the beginning of the pandemic to date, there were a total of 158,434 positive cases in the country.
The Health Ministry also said some 2,676 Covid-19 patients were also discharged, bringing the total number of recovered cases to 120,051.
Currently, there are 240 patients in the intensive care unit, with 93 of them requiring ventilator support.
Despite interstate and inter-district travel being banned during the movement control order (MCO), the government has decided to allow some leniency to those with plane and bus tickets scheduled for later this week, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today.
Ismail Sabri however warned that those looking to carry on with their journey must first obtain permission from the police before travelling.
“After discussing with the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), we decided that for specific cases we will give some leniency, but this leniency will only be given for certain specific cases with proper reasons.
“Like, I was made to understand, some were visiting a sick relative in hospital in their hometown and they are scheduled to return home in two days’ time, say Thursday.
Operating hours for food outlets, sundry shops and convenience stores in movement control order (MCO) areas will be from 6am to 8pm beginning Wednesday (Jan 13), says Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The eating outlets include restaurants, food courts, kiosks and hawkers.
He reminded operators that while food outlets are allowed to operate, services can only be provided for takeaways and deliveries.
Hospitals and clinics are allowed to open 24 hours while pharmacies can open from 6am to 8pm daily.
District police here will mount roadblocks at seven locations to enforce the movement control order (MCO) from midnight tonight.
Petaling Jaya police chief ACP Nik Ezanee Mohd Faisal today said there will be three roadblocks in Kota Damansara, two in Damansara Perdana and one each in Petaling Jaya and Damansara.
He said the checkpoints are at Jalan 4/56, Gasing Indah here; and at the Damansara toll plaza heading towards Bayu Puteri near Merchant Square, Tropicana.
At Kota Damansara, the checkpoints will be at Jalan Persiaran Mahogani; Jalan Persiaran Sungai Buloh and Jalan Persiaran Jati, while in Damansara Perdana it will be set up at the Jalan PJU 8/1 traffic lights and the Mutiara Damansara/Damansara Perdana interchange of the Damansara-Puchong highway (LDP).
The police will set up a total of 44 roadblocks on both the island and mainland during the movement control order (MCO) that starts just after midnight.
Penang police chief Comm Datuk Sahabudin Abdul Manan said a total of 2,690 policemen will be involved in conducting the roadblocks.
“We will be working with the Armed Forces, Rela, the Civil Defence Department and city council enforcement teams,” he said.
The MCO for six states in the country, including Penang, will start after midnight and end on January 26.
The Reciprocal Green Lane and Periodic Commuting Arrangement travelling facilities will continue during the movement control order (MCO) period, says Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pic).
He said the facilities are the result of bilateral cooperation between the governments of Malaysia and Singapore.
“The PCA and RGL will continue as usual, ” he said on Tuesday (Jan 12).
The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) will close temporarily its Sibu office and counters from tomorrow until further notice after an employee was tested positive for Covid-19.
The closure was due to the Ministry of Health’s instruction for the management to conduct disinfection and sanitisation of the premises.
“The employee is now receiving treatment for recovery while contact tracing is currently underway,” the EPF said in a statement today.
It said all service employees of EPF Sibu would take the Covid-19 swab test and, if found positive, undergo 10-day quarantine as per the guidelines by the National Security Council.
Those who are currently in their hometowns can make their way home, the latest by Friday (Jan 15), says Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pic).
He said that police will be conducting roadblocks beginning midnight Wednesday (Jan 13) to prevent inter-state travel, which will be banned during the two week movement control order (MCO).
“However, after discussing with the police, we will be giving some leeway over the next few days for people to make their way home.
The government is paying less for the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac of China as the bottling process will be carried out in Malaysia, said Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin (pix).
He said Pharmaniaga Bhd would be overseeing the bottling process for the vaccine, which is expected to be ready for distribution by the end of March.
“I reiterate that the cost of this vaccine is cheaper as it will be bottled here and not in China; if (bottled) in China the cost is much higher.
Employees in the manufacturing sector must present documents issued by both their employer and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) at police roadblocks when commuting during the movement control order (MCO).
Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali today said his ministry has oversight over the manufacturing sector, which is one of five essential economic sectors allowed to operate onsite during the MCO from January 13 to January 26 in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Labuan, Johor, Penang, Sabah and Melaka.
Malaysia Pharmaniaga Bhd has signed an agreement with China’s Sinovac to purchase ready-to-fill Covid-19 vaccines and later to manufacture the vaccine domestically, it said on Tuesday.
Pharmaniaga said in a filing to the bourse that the company will carry out a fill-and-finish process of the vaccine in Malaysia, and will subsequently enter into local manufacturing, under license from Sinovac for its technology and know-how.
“This will also help Pharmaniaga in long-term partnerships, including technology transfer to grow the sector in Malaysia,” the company said.
No general election, state or by-election will be held during the State of Emergency period, said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
In a special address telecast live today, Muhyiddin said the common practise of holding a by-election within 60 days of a seat being declared vacant; and within the same period for a state election after the legislative assembly is dissolved, is now suspended.
"As we all know, at this time, the people do not want elections to be held to deter the spread of Covid-19 transmission, like what happened after the recent Sabah state election.
"Lately, there have been quarters who have pressed for general elections to be held. I have no intention not to call for an election.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin has become the latest in a string of Cabinet members to test positive for Covid-19.
In a statement today, the Home Ministry revealed that Hamzah had been screened yesterday, and early this morning the Health Ministry released that he had tested positive for the virus.
“Therefore, Hamzah will be undergoing a quarantine period subject to Health Ministry’s guidelines and its close monitoring,” read the statement.
The statement also asked all those who came into close contact with Hamzah from January 8 until 11 to present themselves to a district health office for Covid-19 screening.
As the increasing number of Covid-19 infections continues to overwhelm the country, not all individuals identified as close contacts may undergo tests.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry will prioritise swab tests for individuals with symptoms first.
“Those who are close contacts to positive cases must undergo quarantine and be isolated.
“The priority for Covid-19 swab tests is given to those who are symptomatic.
“This is because the swab tests may not be able to be given to all, especially in districts or states that are burdened with a high number of cases.
The public is reminded to continue exercising self-discipline in carrying out preventive measures against Covid-19 as the country enters the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) tomorrow.
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said business operators and customers need to maintain social distancing and good personal hygiene.
He said the police, as well as the task force teams in districts, would focus on standard operating procedure compliance at business premises and public places.
Johor PKR deputy chief Jimmy Puah Wee Tse today questioned why Covid-19 patients from Johor are sent to the Malaysia Agricultural Expo Park Serdang (MAEPS) in Selangor for quarantine and treatment.
He said it is inconvenient for Covid-19 patients from Johor to be sent to Selangor as it very far.
“I understand that starting yesterday, new (Covid-19) patients from Johor will be sent to MAEPS in Selangor to undergo a quarantine process and seek further treatment.
The enhanced movement control order for two localities in Johor will be extended from Jan 16 to 29 as there is still a high number of active cases, says Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pic).
The localities are Kejora Juara workers hostel in Muar and Westlite workers hostel in Senai.
Ismail Sabri said that the National Security Council, in a special meeting, had agreed to extend the enhanced MCO for the Kejora Juara workers' hostel as there are still 1,404 active cases there.
An old folks' home in Ipoh, Perak has been placed under lockdown after 13 people, including seven senior citizens, tested positive for Covid-19.
Others who tested positive at the Anning Old Folks' Home include six staff members.
The matter was confirmed by Anning Old Folks' Home chairman Marcus How Kok Peng.
"As part of the exercise to prevent the spread of the virus at old folks' homes around the state, representatives from the state Health Department came to conduct screening on all of 36 senior citizens and 24 staff at our centre on Sunday (Jan 10).
All parks in Penang, including Botanic Gardens, will be closed as of Friday (Jan 15).
This follows some confusion when the movement control order was re-imposed on Wednesday (Jan 13) and some public recreational parks in the state remained open for people to go jogging alone.
State youth and sports committee chairman Soon Lip Chee said in a statement on Thursday (Jan 14) that the state will take heed of the order from National Security Council and close all public parks in the state.
With 334 positive Covid-19 cases as of Dec 3 in Kulim, Kedah, the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) imposed in the district will be extended another two weeks.
Initially scheduled to end tomorrow, Senior Defense Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said it will be extended until Dec 20.
He said the Health Ministry's risk assessment done on the district found the infectivity rate to still be high.
The Perlis Manpower Department is conducting a special operation beginning today until February 28 to ensure all 2,562 registered foreign workers in the state undergo Covid-19 screening tests.
Its director, Iskandar Jassa, said the move was taken in order to contain the pandemic among the community.
“Today, we visited 11 employers and found only one of them had conducted Covid-19 screening for its workers,” he told reporters here, today.
He urged all employers to do so immediately or face the consequences.
All staff of the Bentong Prison and their family members are to be quarantined until the Covid-19 screening process is done with.
This is after health authorities identified the Tembok Mempaga cluster yesterday, the Pahang disaster management committee said in a statement today, adding that the move was necessary to ensure there are no transmissions within the local community.
Kelantan recorded an all-time-high tally of 150 daily Covid-19 cases today.
State health director Datuk Dr Zaini Hussin said Kota Baru registered the highest number of cases at 50, followed by Gua Musang (27) and Pasir Mas (21).
He said the 150 cases take the cumulative tally of infections in the state to 2,133.
Dr Zaini added that 79 of the 150 cases are from close contacts, 45 from clusters, while the rest were detected via screening tests.
A total of four Terengganu state executive council members and another state assemblyman in the state are now undergoing quarantine at their homes while waiting for the results of their Covid-19 tests, a report has said.
All four state executive council members are also state assemblymen in PAS-ruled Terengganu.
In the report by Harian Metro last night, this was confirmed by one of those undergoing quarantine — Bukit Tunggal state assemblyman Alias Razak who is also the exco chairing the local government, housing, health and environment committee.
Alias said the five of them — including himself — were close contacts to a staff member at the Wisma Darul Iman who had tested positive for Covid-19.
A total of 83 close contacts of two Melaka Police Headquarters Contingent (IPK) personnel, who tested positive for Covid-19 last week, have been identified, said Melaka Police chief Datuk Abdul Majid Mohd Ali.
He said the two women personnel, a sub-inspector and a civil servant aged 30 and 53, are from the logistics division of the IPK.
“The close contacts who have been identified comprised officers, personnel as well as family members and 45 of them have been ordered to undergo home quarantine.
Thirteen people were detained by police for defying standard operating procedures (SOPs) of the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) at food premises here last night.
Acting Labuan police chief DSP Mohd Ibrahim Mohd Ghani said all of them, aged between 28 and 48 years, were compounded RM1,000 each, under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within the local Infected Areas) Regulations 2020.
Seventy-nine per cent of intensive care unit (ICU) beds in Sabah hospitals are occupied by Covid-19 patients.
State Covid-19 spokesperson Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said despite this, the Health Ministry will do its best to accommodate and provide the best healthcare for the people.
"There are two major hospitals in Kota Kinabalu, one has 36 ICU beds and the other has six beds; Tawau has 32; Sandakan 18; Lahad Datu 13; and Keningau 10.
"There are 115 ICU beds in total and 91 patients are being treated at ICUs to date, with 23 of them needing ventilators," he said in a virtual press conference.
Sarawak Patriots Association (SPA) chairman Datuk John Lau Pang Heng today urged the state Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) not to designate longhouses as quarantine centres for those returning from high-risk areas in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah.
He said the Pasai Siong cluster should serve as a lesson on why longhouses should not be used as quarantine centres for persons-under-investigation (PUIs) for Covid-19.
Lau said many people that he talked to had agreed that an index case in the Pasai Siong cluster should not have been allowed to be quarantined at longhouse since she had returned from Johor Baru via Kuala Lumpur, as both are states considered high Covid-19 risk areas.