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Malaysia imposes new coronavirus curbs as cases surge

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Malaysia announced sweeping new curbs around the capital and worst-hit Sabah state on Monday as the country fights a new coronavirus surge.

The Southeast Asian nation had avoided the serious outbreaks seen across much of the world by imposing tough restrictions nationwide in March, when the began accelerating.

The slowly eased curbs and had been returning to normal but cases surged again, with authorities reporting hundreds each day over the past week.

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New restrictions come into force from Wednesday for at least two weeks in Kuala Lumpur, neighbouring Selangor state and the administrative capital Putrajaya, said Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Schools and places of worship will be closed, people will only be allowed to leave home for essential tasks like , and all and other recreational activities will be banned, he added.

Most businesses will still be allowed to operate, as the government seeks to protect a fragile economy already struggling to recover from the earlier .

Similar curbs will be extended across the whole of Sabah on island.

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Cases have surged since an election in the state last month, and some have blamed campaigning for bringing the disease back to other parts of the country.

Malaysia has so far recorded over 16,000 cases and more than 150 deaths from .

sr/gle

© Agence -Presse

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/AFP

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