Malaysia will not re-impose coronavirus curbs for now despite spike

Malaysia will not re-impose coronavirus curbs for now despite spike
The Malaysian government has come under criticism for the increase in coronavirus cases. (Reuters)
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Updated 03 October 2020

Malaysia will not re-impose coronavirus curbs for now despite spike

Malaysia will not re-impose coronavirus curbs for now despite spike
  • Southeast Asian country has seen a steady climb in cases in the past week
  • Malaysia has reported a total of 11,771 infections, with 136 deaths

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will not re-impose widespread coronavirus restrictions on travel despite a recent spike in infections, which a government minister said was partly caused by migrants from neighboring countries.
Malaysia imposed a nationwide lockdown in March but has been gradually lifting the curbs, though authorities have warned that they could be reinstated if daily increases in infections reached triple-digits.
The Southeast Asian country has seen a steady climb in cases in the past week and on Friday reported 287 new infections, the highest daily rise since it began tracking the pandemic.
But security minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government did not see the need to reimpose the lockdown as the majority of cases were being reported in detention centers and isolated districts.
“There’s only one or two cases in each state so it’s not something that’s worrying at this point,” Ismail told reporters.
The government has come under criticism for the increase in cases, many of which have been in or linked to the second-largest state of Sabah, on Borneo island, which held an election last week.
Several politicians have been accused of violating social distancing protocols on the campaign trail, while authorities were criticized for not imposing control measures such as a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers from Sabah.
Ismail said the Sabah outbreak stemmed from the illegal entry of migrants. The government would increase resources and personnel to guard the state’s borders, he said.
“The cases in neighboring countries have gone up and the entry of illegal migrants from there have impacted on our efforts to control the spread of COVID-19,” he said.
Malaysia has avoided the level of outbreaks seen in neighbors the Philippines and Indonesia, which have 319,330 and 299,506 cases respectively.
Malaysia has reported a total of 11,771 infections, with 136 deaths.


150 migrants storm border with Spain’s Melilla enclave

150 migrants storm border with Spain’s Melilla enclave
Updated 19 January 2021

150 migrants storm border with Spain’s Melilla enclave

150 migrants storm border with Spain’s Melilla enclave
  • 90 migrants managing to cross from Morocco into Melilla at a point where the border fence crosses the Nano river
  • Melilla and Ceuta, another Spanish territory in North Africa, have the European Union’s only land borders with Africa

MADRID: Around 150 migrants stormed the border fence separating the Spanish enclave Melilla from Morocco early on Tuesday with nearly 90 managing to cross, officials said.
The incident took place just before dawn where the fence crosses the Nano river, a spokesman for the Spanish government’s local delegation said, indicating “87 of them” got across despite efforts to stop them by the Moroccan and Spanish security forces.
It was the biggest mass attempt to cross the border fence since August 20 when some 300 people stormed the fence, although only around 30 managed to get across and one died during the attempt.
During Tuesday’s incident, nine migrants were hurt while trying to get into the tiny Spanish territory, while the rest were being registered at the migrant reception center, he said.
Interior ministry figures show that in the first two weeks of the year, 60 migrants managed to illegally cross the fence into Melilla while another 70 managed to cross into Ceuta, Spain’s other North African enclave.
Melilla and Ceuta, another Spanish territory in North Africa, have the European Union’s only land borders with Africa.
They are favored entry points for African migrants seeking a better life in Europe, who get there by either climbing over the border fence or by swimming along the coast.
The border crossings between Morocco and both enclaves have been closed since the start of the pandemic last March.