Malaysia struggling as infections surge

Southeast Asian countries are battling spikes in domestic coronavirus infections. Malaysia, in particular, is struggling to cope. The country's daily count of new cases per million people now exceeds that of India, one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic.

The daily tally of new cases in Malaysia has regularly exceeded 6,000 since mid-May.

The death toll is also rising and funeral service providers say they have their work cut out for them.

One undertaker said, "We used to handle a monthly average of one to 3 funerals, but now, we are regularly taking care of 2 to 3 burials a day. We are severely understaffed."

The surge in infections forced the country into a two-week nationwide lockdown. People are banned from outings except for essential purposes, such as buying daily necessities, or going to hospitals. Economic activities are severely restricted with stores shut down.

A shop owner said, "The lockdown will be extended if there is no end in sight to the spread of infections. That would be a nightmarish blow to our business."

A woman says she stocks up on enough food items to prepare meals for about a week as she now cooks at home more often than before. She says people like her have no choice but to stay at home.

The pandemic is also impacting one of Malaysia's biggest industries ... palm oil. It's the second largest producer in the world.

Entry restrictions are preventing the industry from securing enough workers from overseas.