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Thailand and Malaysia Coranavirus Cases Increase
« on: April 08, 2020, 06:09:01 AM » - Two Southeast Asian countries are reporting coronavirus infections in the thousands, after Thailand crossed the 1,000 mark and Malaysia surpassed 2,000 on Thursday.

Elsewhere, the Indonesian president called on G20 member-states to lead efforts to combat COVID-19, while in Bangladesh, the most powerful industry group representing owners of garment factories agreed to close most of the plants during a two-week period.

The government has declared the next two weeks as a special national holiday during a countrywide shutdown that began Thursday, but is urging Bangladeshis to stay at home and avoid large gatherings amid the public health crisis stemming from the viral outbreak.

In Malaysia, members of the royal staff were among those affected by the coronavirus, leading the king and queen to quarantine for 14 days, officials said.

“The National Palace would like to inform that seven of its staff have been tested positive for COVID19. They are currently being treated at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital and health authorities are now working on tracing the cause of infection,” the palace said in a statement.

COVID-19 tests on the king, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, and the queen, Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah, were negative, according to the palace.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and members of his cabinet decided they would donate two months of their salaries to a national COVID-19 relief fund.

“This is to show the government’s commitment in assisting those who truly are affected by the virus,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement.

The government would also institute a two-week lockdown in two locations in Johor, beginning Friday, after the state recorded 83 positive coronavirus cases, Malaysian Defense Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced.

The lockdown is to end on April 9 and will involve 3,570 people from 650 families. No one will be allowed to enter or leave the two areas and all businesses must be closed.

“During the lockdown, the welfare department will supply enough basic necessities to all households. The authorities will set up a medical base in the two areas and police and the military will be on duty to ensure the order is followed,” Ismail said.

On Thursday, Malaysia saw its total number of COVID-19 cases jump by 235 to 2,031 and the death toll increase by four to 23 from the previous day, according to government figures.

Three of those who died had attended the Tablighi Jamaat missionary movement mass gathering at a mosque outside of Kuala Lumpur in late February. The gathering has been linked to hundreds of infections in Malaysia and other countries including Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, according to reports.

Worldwide, more than 23,500 people have died and at least 521,000 have been infected, according to the latest data compiled by disease experts at Johns Hopkins University in the United States.

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