Malaysia will deploy the army to assist the police in imposing tough restrictions to stop the spread of coronavirus, a minister said Friday, as more than 1,000 cases have surged in the region.
People have been ordered to stay at home, and all schools and most businesses have closed, whereas Malaysians are barred from entering the country from traveling overseas and foreigners.
But others have skipped the steps implemented this week, with people still going for walks and dining out.
Initially, the police had been charged with implementing the measures, which would last until the end of March, but Defense Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the Sunday army will be called in.
“We are confident that with the army’s help, stricter enforcement can be carried out,” he told a press conference. “There are still many who don’t care about the orders from the government.”
Malaysia recorded 130 new cases of virus bringing its total to 1,030 on Friday – the highest figure in any Southeast Asian nation. Two men died.
Previously, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin appealed to the Malaysians to accept the restrictions, saying that they are not an excuse for leisure.
At the beginning of the month, more than half of the country’s infections were related to an Islamic conference near Kuala Lumpur attended by more than 16,000 people from all over the world.
Since then, the event has been linked with infections across the region including in Brunei, Singapore and Cambodia.
According to an AFP count, the death toll from the virus has gone past 10,000 worldwide.