It seems that things are not going well for our neighbours across the causeway.
Malaysia reported a startling 317 new Covid-19 cases yesterday (3 October 2020), which was apparently the highest daily increase of cases thus far.
It was also a record daily increase for the second day in a row.
And to cap things off, Malaysia seems to be mirroring the state of the United States’ political scene…
With more of its own politicians falling prey to the Coronavirus.
M’sia Reported Record High of 317 Cases in a Day With More Politicians Infected
The sudden spike in cases can be linked to the recent 16th Sabah State Election, wherein many from Peninsular Malaysia campaigned in the state (Sabah is in East Malaysia, an area that can only be reached by air) and ended up taking the virus back with them.
Apparently, a UMNO supreme council member had not followed Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) when campaigning at a Sipitang Tamu, a Sabah traditional market during the period. And not long after, another UMNO member, the party’s information chief Shahril Hamdan, tested positive for the virus after entering the same area.
Unfortunately, it only got worse from there too.
With the elections behind them, more politicians have also been ascertained to be Covid-19 positive, including Deputy Minister of Environment and Water, Datuk Dr Ahmad Masrizal Mohamad.
According to the report, the Deputy Minister had initially tested negative for the virus after returning from Sabah, but a more recent screening revealed that he contains the virus.
It should be noted that he did not display any symptoms for COVID-19.
He has since been admitted to the Sungai Buloh Hospital.
Meanwhile, the political-secretary for the Ministry of Higher Education, Datin Maizatul Akmam Alawi, tested positive for the pathogen yesterday (3 October 2020). According to Sinar Harian, she was infected during the campaigning period of the Sabah State Election, too.
She is currently receiving treatment at a hospital in Sabah.
Three New Clusters
Malaysia has reported a total of 12,088 cases thus far, with the health ministry also recording one new death, bringing the total to 137.
Three novel clusters were also discovered, with two – the Bah Lunas and Bah Rose clusters – situated in Kedah and the third – the Jelok cluster – located in Selangor.
It should be noted that the Bah Lunas cluster was identified in Kulim, and that the first case had travelled to Sabah.
“The 35-year-old man was tested positive on Sep 30 and admitted to the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital, Kedah,” Health Director-General Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said during a press conference on Saturday.
“Following that, close contact screenings were carried out and three more COVID-19 positive cases were identified.
“All the positive cases linked to the cluster involved locals and they were also admitted to the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital.”
Previously, Tourism Malaysia was reported to be considering the implementation of travel bubbles…
With cross-border for leisure tentatively set for the first quarter of 2021.
Director-general Datuk Musa Yusof said: “From the tourism point of view, hopefully, we should see some movement by the first quarter of next year. This is what I mean by green travel bubbles.
“As an example, Malaysia and Singapore have allowed cross-border travel already, but for essential services only, and not for leisure yet. If this goes well, and no untoward issues arise, God willing, leisure [travel] will begin,” he said.
Unfortunately, it seems that such a complication has indeed arisen.
Nevertheless, we hope that the issue will be addressed and contained as soon as possible, and that it will be rectified before long. After all…
The last thing we want is for the borders to close again, even for essential services.
And on 23 March, Singapore shut off its own borders, with few exemptions allowed to enter.
Because of this border closure, more than 35,000 Johor residents working in Singapore have lost their jobs.
Since then, the border between both countries has remained closed until 17 August, when hundreds of Malaysians were allowed to return to their jobs in Singapore through the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA).
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