Asia Pacific

Malaysia to ease coronavirus lockdowns in five states next week

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Police officers check vehicles at a road block during an enhanced lockdown, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia July 3, 2021. REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 3 (Reuters) - Malaysia will relax coronavirus lockdowns next week in five states that have met the government's indicators for lifting curbs, the security minister said on Saturday.

The Southeast Asian country has been under a nationwide lockdown since June 1 to rein in a surge of COVID-19 infections.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has said the government will gradually open up the economy and social activities in four phases, based on infection numbers, vaccination rates, and the capacity of the healthcare system.

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Curbs are to be partially lifted in the states of Kelantan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, and Terengganu on Monday as they have achieved their targets for moving to the second phase of lockdown, the minister, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, told reporters.

His comments came as stricter measures took effect on Saturday in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, and the neighbouring state of Selangor, which are among Malaysia's worst-hit regions. read more

Saturday's 6,658 new cases take Malaysia's tally of infections to 772,607, while its death toll stands at 5,327.

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Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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