Malaysia begins nationwide virus lockdown

Malaysia has entered a second nationwide lockdown for two weeks due to surging coronavirus infections.

The number of daily cases in the country has been rapidly increasing since mid-May, recently topping 9,000. New variants are believed to be spreading.

Starting on Tuesday, economic activities are suspended until June 14, except for essential businesses including supermarkets and banks.

People are banned from outings except for essential purposes, such as buying daily necessities and going to hospitals.

In the capital Kuala Lumpur, major shopping facilities are closed, and few people are seen on the streets.

Police are stopping vehicles at temporary checkpoints to ask drivers why they are out.

A bank employee says the measures will help reduce the number of new cases, and that she hopes infections will be brought under control as soon as possible.

Malaysia imposed its first nationwide lockdown last year from March to May.