The emergency would last till Aug. 1 or earlier depending on the COVID-19 situation.

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Tuesday that King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah has consented to declaring a state of emergency in the country to stop the COVID-19 outbreak.

People wearing face masks walk on a street in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Jan. 9, 2021. Malaysia on Saturday reported 2,451 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the national total to 133,559. Image: Xinhua

In a televised speech, Muhyiddin said the emergency would last till Aug. 1 or earlier depending on the COVID-19 situation.

Separately, the national palace issued a statement announcing the King’s consent to the proclamation of the state of emergency.

The king also advised the people to remain calm in facing the state of emergency and movement restrictions that have been imposed in parts of the country hard hit by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Image: Xinhua

This comes a day after Muhyiddin announced tightening movement restriction measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 for two weeks starting Jan. 13, citing the country’s health care system being at “breaking point”.

The areas to impose tightened measures include the capital Kuala Lumpur, the states of Penang, Selangor, Melaka, Johor and the northern Borneo state of Sabah, among others.

Image: Xinhua

Under the stricter restrictions, all social events involving mass gathering are banned, residents only allowed to travel within a radius of 10 kilometers, and no dine-in for restaurants.

Image: Xinhua

Malaysia has seen a surge in new daily COVID-19 cases, as well as severe flooding in several states in recent weeks, with thousands being displaced from their homes.

XINHUA | KUALA LUMPUR

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