Malaysia reported on Thursday that it is making the wearing of face masks mandatory when using public transportation and in “crowded” public spaces. Beginning Aug 1 people will be fined as more Covid-19 coronavirus cases are being reported daily.
“The Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak is on a slight uptrend lately,” Defense Minister Ismail Sabri said in a statement. Saying that a Health Ministry report shows the public’s compliance with social distancing measures has slackened. Especially when using public transportation or entering crowded spaces.
Those in Malaysia who flout the order could risk being fined $US235.00 he said.
In the months since the first virus case was found in Malaysia in January, the government has never mandated face mask coverings, even when daily cases shot up to three digits in March.
Ismail said it was because Malaysia did not want to put a burden on the poor as masks need to be changed at least once a day.
But as new clusters of covid-19 cases have been reported in recent days, the government has decided to toughen its response. At the same time, it is trying to make masks more affordable by capping the price at 1.20 ringgit per piece from Aug 15, down from the current 1.50 ringgit per piece.
Health authorities reported nine new cases as of noon Thursday, bringing the total coronavirus cases in Malaysia to 8,840. Total covid-19 coronavirus fatalities stood at 123.
Global Covid-19 coronavirus cases surpass 15 million
Global Covid-19 coronavirus daily infections hit a new high over the previous 24 hours at 279,904, raising the total to 15.37 million. The worldwide death toll rose by 7,038 to 630,193. The US had the most cases at 4.10 million, up by 72,306, and the most deaths at 146,183, up by 1,230.
There have now been more than 15 million cases of coronavirus globally, with the United States, Brazil and India combining to make up almost 50 per cent of the infections.
The number of novel coronavirus infections around the world passed 15 million Wednesday, with Latin America and the Caribbean, one of the hardest-hit regions, notching more than four million cases.
Over 142,000 lives have been lost to the virus in the United States over the last five months, the highest in the world.
Among the 20 countries with the largest outbreaks, the United States ranks sixth highest globally for deaths per capita, according to the Bangkok Post.