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KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin tonight outlined several key measures to be taken to counter the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Aware that Malaysia is now facing a spike in cases following a second wave of the disease, the prime minister said the government will increase the number of hospitals to treat COVID-19 cases.

Besides identifying the Sungai Buloh hospital and one hospital in each state as dedicated hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients, he said to date, a total of 26 government hospitals and a university hospital – the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) – have the capability of handling COVID-19 cases.

“Besides this, there are 57 government hospitals and 170 health clinics throughout the country ready to conduct health screenings on those with COVID-19 symptoms,” the prime minister said in a special address to the nation that was telecast live on television stations.

He said collaboration with private hospitals, hospitals under the Defence Ministry and university hospitals has commenced as preparation to take in additional COVID-19 cases.

Muhyiddin said the government will also boost laboratory testing facilities for COVID-19, including 22 laboratories under the Health Ministry and other laboratories under the Defence Ministry and the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry.

Despite various efforts taken to curb its spread, Malaysia is now facing a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, with 175 positive cases recorded from the second wave.

There were 22 cases when the first wave hit beginning Jan 25.

On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic after a drastic increase in the number of cases globally.

The prime minister said the government is aware that one key preventive measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is through travel restrictions.

“The Government will continue its travel restrictions on the three provinces in China which are Hubei, Jiangsu and Zhejiang; Hokkaido in Japan, Italy, Iran and the Republic of Korea. Malaysians are also advised not to travel to countries affected by COVID-19,” he said.

— BERNAMA



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