Malaysia declares state of emergency

Malaysia's King has declared a nationwide state of emergency to deal with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Royal Palace said in a statement on Tuesday that the COVID-19 situation in the country is at a very critical level, and stressed the need for the declaration.

In a televised address on Tuesday, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the emergency will last until August 1 -- or earlier if the situation can be brought under control.

The decree came just a day after Malaysia announced new travel restrictions for six states for a period of two weeks, starting Wednesday.

The prime minister also said that under the emergency decree, there will be no elections or sessions of parliament or state assemblies.

But he emphasized that the country will continue doing business as usual.
He said there will be no curfew but that the period of emergency will give Malaysia much needed calm and stability to focus on economic recovery and regeneration.

Malaysia has been experiencing a spike in cases since a third wave of infections began to sweep across the country in September. The number of daily infections reached a record of over 3,000 last week.

The country now has a total of more than 138,000 cases and over 550 deaths.