KUALA LUMPUR – March 17, 2020: Malaysia today reported its first two Covid-19 deaths – a 60-year-old pastor from Sarawak and a 34-year-old who attended a religious gathering in Sri Petaling last month. The total number of cases is now 673.
The pastor from the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Kuching died at the Sarawak General Hospital. The source of his infection has yet to be identified.
As for the other victim, the Health Ministry tweeted that he died at the Permai Hospital in Johor Baru after his condition deteriorated ever since he was warded on March 5.
He was among about 16,000 people who had attended a tabligh gathering at the Sri Petaling Mosque between February 28 and March 1.
Following a spike in the number of cases in recent days, mainly due to the tabligh event, Malaysia will be on a 14-day partial lockdown starting tomorrow.
It involves comprehensive restrictions on movements and public gatherings throughout the country, including religious, sports, social and cultural activities.
A few European countries decided to impose a full-scale lockdown from about a week ago.
With the enforcement of this order, all houses of worship and businesses will be closed, except for supermarkets, wet markets, grocery shops and convenience stores selling daily necessities.
Malaysians are also prohibited from travelling overseas during this period while all foreigners, both tourists and other visitors, are barred from entering the country.
Malaysians returning home from abroad are required to be on a 14-day home quarantine.
All government and private sector premises will be closed except those providing essential services.