COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia

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COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia
COVID-19 Outbreak Cases in Malaysia (Density).svg
Confirmed COVID-19 cases by state (territory) as of June 2021
COVID-19 Outbreak Cases in Malaysia (Density and Districts).svg
Distribution map of COVID-19 confirmed cases by district (city) as of June 2021
COVID-19 Outbreak Cases in Malaysia (Density and Districts by active case).svg
Distribution map of COVID-19 active cases by district as of June 2021
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationMalaysia
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China
Index caseSungai Buloh, Selangor
Arrival date25 January 2020
(1 year, 4 months, 3 weeks and 1 day)
Confirmed cases673,026[1]
Active cases67,949[1]
Recovered600,935[1]
Deaths
4,142[1]
Fatality rate0.62%
Vaccinations4,904,109
Government website
covid-19.moh.gov.my
COVID-19 cases in Malaysia  ()
     Deaths        Recoveries        Active cases
2020202020212021
JanJanFebFebMarMarAprAprMayMayJunJunJulJulAugAugSepSepOctOctNovNovDecDec
JanJanFebFebMarMarAprAprMayMayJunJun
Last 15 daysLast 15 days
Date
# of cases
# of deaths
2020-01-24 3(n.a.) 0(n.a.)
2020-01-25 4(+33%) 0(n.a.)
2020-01-26 4(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-01-27 6(+50%) 0(n.a.)
2020-01-28 8(+33%) 0(n.a.)
8(=) (=)
2020-02-03 9(+12%) 0(n.a.)
2020-02-04 12(+33%) 0(n.a.)
2020-02-05
14(+17%) 0(n.a.)
2020-02-06
14(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-02-07
15(+7.1%) 0(n.a.)
2020-02-08
16(+6.7%) 0(n.a.)
2020-02-09
18(+12%) 0(n.a.)
18(=) (=)
2020-02-12
19(+5.6%) 0(n.a.)
2020-02-13
19(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-02-14
21(+11%) 0(n.a.)
2020-02-15
21(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-02-16
22(+4.8%) 0(n.a.)
2020-02-17
22(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-02-18
22(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-02-19
22(=) 0(n.a.)
22(=) (=)
2020-02-23
22(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-02-24
22(=) 0(n.a.)
22(=) (=)
2020-02-27
24(+9.1%) 0(n.a.)
2020-02-28
25(+4.2%) 0(n.a.)
2020-02-29
29(+16%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-01
29(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-02
33(+14%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-03
36(+9.1%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-04
50(+39%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-05
55(+10%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-06
83(+51%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-07
93(+12%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-08
99(+6.5%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-09
118(+19%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-10
130(+10%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-11
149(+15%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-12
158(+6%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-13
200(+27%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-14
242(+21%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-15
428(+77%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-16
553(+29%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-17
673(+22%) 2(n.a.)
2020-03-18
790(+17%) 2(=)
2020-03-19
900(+14%) 2(=)
2020-03-20
1,030(+14%) 3(+1)
2020-03-21
1,183(+15%) 8(+5)
2020-03-22
1,306(+10%) 11(+3)
2020-03-23
1,518(+16%) 14(+3)
2020-03-24
1,624(+7%) 16(+2)
2020-03-25
1,796(+11%) 20(+4)
2020-03-26
2,031(+13%) 24(+4)
2020-03-27
2,161(+6.4%) 26(+2)
2020-03-28
2,320(+7.4%) 27(+1)
2020-03-29
2,470(+6.5%) 35(+8)
2020-03-30
2,626(+6.3%) 37(+2)
2020-03-31
2,766(+5.3%) 43(+6)
2020-04-01
2,908(+5.1%) 45(+2)
2020-04-02
3,116(+7.2%) 50(+5)
2020-04-03
3,333(+7%) 53(+3)
2020-04-04
3,483(+4.5%) 57(+4)
2020-04-05
3,662(+5.1%) 61(+4)
2020-04-06
3,793(+3.6%) 62(+1)
2020-04-07
3,963(+4.5%) 63(+1)
2020-04-08
4,119(+3.9%) 65(+2)
2020-04-09
4,228(+2.6%) 67(+2)
2020-04-10
4,346(+2.8%) 70(+3)
2020-04-11
4,530(+4.2%) 73(+3)
2020-04-12
4,683(+3.4%) 76(+3)
2020-04-13
4,817(+2.9%) 77(+1)
2020-04-14
4,987(+3.5%) 82(+5)
2020-04-15
5,072(+1.7%) 83(+1)
2020-04-16
5,182(+2.2%) 84(+1)
2020-04-17
5,251(+1.3%) 86(+2)
2020-04-18
5,305(+1%) 88(+2)
2020-04-19
5,389(+1.6%) 89(+1)
2020-04-20
5,425(+0.67%) 89(=)
2020-04-21
5,482(+1.1%) 92(+3)
2020-04-22
5,532(+0.91%) 93(+1)
2020-04-23
5,603(+1.3%) 95(+2)
2020-04-24
5,691(+1.6%) 96(+1)
2020-04-25
5,742(+0.9%) 98(+2)
2020-04-26
5,780(+0.66%) 98(=)
2020-04-27
5,820(+0.69%) 99(+1)
2020-04-28
5,851(+0.53%) 100(+1)
2020-04-29
5,945(+1.6%) 100(=)
2020-04-30
6,002(+0.96%) 102(+2)
2020-05-01
6,071(+1.1%) 103(+1)
2020-05-02
6,176(+1.7%) 103(=)
2020-05-03
6,298(+2%) 105(+2)
2020-05-04
6,353(+0.87%) 105(=)
2020-05-05
6,383(+0.47%) 106(+1)
2020-05-06
6,428(+0.7%) 107(+1)
2020-05-07
6,467(+0.61%) 107(=)
2020-05-08
6,535(+1.1%) 107(=)
2020-05-09
6,589(+0.83%) 108(+1)
2020-05-10
6,656(+1%) 108(=)
2020-05-11
6,726(+1.1%) 109(+1)
2020-05-12
6,742(+0.24%) 109(=)
2020-05-13
6,779(+0.55%) 111(+2)
2020-05-14
6,819(+0.59%) 112(+1)
2020-05-15
6,855(+0.53%) 112(=)
2020-05-16
6,872(+0.25%) 113(+1)
2020-05-17
6,894(+0.32%) 113(=)
2020-05-18
6,941(+0.68%) 113(=)
2020-05-19
6,978(+0.53%) 114(+1)
2020-05-20
7,009(+0.44%) 114(=)
2020-05-21
7,059(+0.71%) 114(=)
2020-05-22
7,137(+1.1%) 115(+1)
2020-05-23
7,185(+0.67%) 115(=)
2020-05-24
7,245(+0.84%) 115(=)
2020-05-25
7,417(+2.4%) 115(=)
2020-05-26
7,604(+2.5%) 115(=)
2020-05-27
7,619(+0.2%) 115(=)
2020-05-28
7,629(+0.13%) 115(=)
2020-05-29
7,732(+1.4%) 115(=)
2020-05-30
7,762(+0.39%) 115(=)
2020-05-31
7,819(+0.73%) 115(=)
2020-06-01
7,857(+0.49%) 115(=)
2020-06-02
7,877(+0.25%) 115(=)
2020-06-03
7,970(+1.2%) 115(=)
2020-06-04
8,247(+3.5%) 115(=)
2020-06-05
8,266(+0.23%) 116(+1)
2020-06-06
8,303(+0.45%) 117(+1)
2020-06-07
8,322(+0.23%) 117(=)
2020-06-08
8,329(+0.08%) 117(=)
2020-06-09
8,336(+0.08%) 117(=)
2020-06-10
8,338(+0.02%) 118(+1)
2020-06-11
8,369(+0.37%) 118(=)
2020-06-12
8,402(+0.39%) 119(+1)
2020-06-13
8,445(+0.51%) 120(+1)
2020-06-14
8,453(+0.09%) 121(+1)
2020-06-15
8,494(+0.49%) 121(=)
2020-06-16
8,505(+0.13%) 121(=)
2020-06-17
8,515(+0.12%) 121(=)
2020-06-18
8,529(+0.16%) 121(=)
2020-06-19
8,535(+0.07%) 121(=)
2020-06-20
8,556(+0.25%) 121(=)
2020-06-21
8,572(+0.19%) 121(=)
2020-06-22
8,587(+0.17%) 121(=)
2020-06-23
8,590(+0.03%) 121(=)
2020-06-24
8,596(+0.07%) 121(=)
2020-06-25
8,600(+0.05%) 121(=)
2020-06-26
8,606(+0.07%) 121(=)
2020-06-27
8,616(+0.12%) 121(=)
2020-06-28
8,634(+0.21%) 121(=)
2020-06-29
8,637(+0.03%) 121(=)
2020-06-30
8,639(+0.02%) 121(=)
2020-07-01
8,640(+0.01%) 121(=)
2020-07-02
8,643(+0.03%) 121(=)
2020-07-03
8,648(+0.06%) 121(=)
2020-07-04
8,658(+0.12%) 121(=)
2020-07-05
8,663(+0.06%) 121(=)
2020-07-06
8,668(+0.06%) 121(=)
2020-07-07
8,674(+0.07%) 121(=)
2020-07-08
8,677(+0.03%) 121(=)
2020-07-09
8,683(+0.07%) 121(=)
2020-07-10
8,696(+0.15%) 121(=)
2020-07-11
8,704(+0.09%) 122(+1)
2020-07-12
8,718(+0.16%) 122(=)
2020-07-13
8,725(+0.08%) 122(=)
2020-07-14
8,729(+0.05%) 122(=)
2020-07-15
8,734(+0.06%) 122(=)
2020-07-16
8,737(+0.03%) 122(=)
2020-07-17
8,755(+0.21%) 122(=)
2020-07-18
8,764(+0.1%) 122(=)
2020-07-19
8,779(+0.17%) 123(+1)
2020-07-20
8,800(+0.24%) 123(=)
2020-07-21
8,815(+0.17%) 123(=)
2020-07-22
8,831(+0.18%) 123(=)
2020-07-23
8,840(+0.1%) 123(=)
2020-07-24
8,861(+0.24%) 123(=)
2020-07-25
8,884(+0.26%) 123(=)
2020-07-26
8,897(+0.15%) 124(+1)
2020-07-27
8,904(+0.08%) 124(=)
2020-07-28
8,943(+0.44%) 124(=)
2020-07-29
8,956(+0.15%) 124(=)
2020-07-30
8,964(+0.09%) 124(=)
2020-07-31
8,976(+0.13%) 125(+1)
2020-08-01
8,985(+0.1%) 125(=)
2020-08-02
8,999(+0.16%) 125(=)
2020-08-03
9,001(+0.02%) 125(=)
2020-08-04
9,002(+0.01%) 125(=)
2020-08-05
9,023(+0.23%) 125(=)
2020-08-06
9,038(+0.17%) 125(=)
2020-08-07
9,063(+0.28%) 125(=)
2020-08-08
9,070(+0.08%) 125(=)
2020-08-09
9,083(+0.14%) 125(=)
2020-08-10
9,094(+0.12%) 125(=)
2020-08-11
9,103(+0.1%) 125(=)
2020-08-12
9,114(+0.12%) 125(=)
2020-08-13
9,129(+0.16%) 125(=)
2020-08-14
9,149(+0.22%) 125(=)
2020-08-15
9,175(+0.28%) 125(=)
2020-08-16
9,200(+0.27%) 125(=)
2020-08-17
9,212(+0.13%) 125(=)
2020-08-18
9,219(+0.08%) 125(=)
2020-08-19
9,235(+0.17%) 125(=)
2020-08-20
9,240(+0.05%) 125(=)
2020-08-21
9,249(+0.1%) 125(=)
2020-08-22
9,257(+0.09%) 125(=)
2020-08-23
9,267(+0.11%) 125(=)
2020-08-24
9,274(+0.08%) 125(=)
2020-08-25
9,285(+0.12%) 125(=)
2020-08-26
9,291(+0.06%) 125(=)
2020-08-27
9,296(+0.05%) 125(=)
2020-08-28
9,306(+0.11%) 125(=)
2020-08-29
9,317(+0.12%) 125(=)
2020-08-30
9,334(+0.18%) 126(+1)
2020-08-31
9,340(+0.06%) 127(+1)
2020-09-01
9,354(+0.15%) 128(+1)
2020-09-02
9,360(+0.06%) 128(=)
2020-09-03
9,374(+0.15%) 128(=)
2020-09-04
9,385(+0.12%) 128(=)
2020-09-05
9,391(+0.06%) 128(=)
2020-09-06
9,397(+0.06%) 128(=)
2020-09-07
9,459(+0.66%) 128(=)
2020-09-08
9,559(+1.1%) 128(=)
2020-09-09
9,583(+0.25%) 128(=)
2020-09-10
9,628(+0.47%) 128(=)
2020-09-11
9,810(+1.9%) 128(=)
2020-09-12
9,868(+0.59%) 128(=)
2020-09-13
9,915(+0.48%) 128(=)
2020-09-14
9,946(+0.31%) 128(=)
2020-09-15
9,969(+0.23%) 128(=)
2020-09-16
10,031(+0.62%) 128(=)
2020-09-17
10,052(+0.21%) 128(=)
2020-09-18
10,147(+0.95%) 129(+1)
2020-09-19
10,167(+0.2%) 130(+1)
2020-09-20
10,219(+0.51%) 130(=)
2020-09-21
10,276(+0.56%) 130(=)
2020-09-22
10,358(+0.8%) 130(=)
2020-09-23
10,505(+1.4%) 133(+3)
2020-09-24
10,576(+0.68%) 133(=)
2020-09-25
10,687(+1%) 133(=)
2020-09-26
10,769(+0.77%) 133(=)
2020-09-27
10,919(+1.4%) 134(+1)
2020-09-28
11,034(+1.1%) 134(=)
2020-09-29
11,135(+0.92%) 134(=)
2020-09-30
11,224(+0.8%) 136(+2)
2020-10-01
11,484(+2.3%) 136(=)
2020-10-02
11,771(+2.5%) 136(=)
2020-10-03
12,088(+2.7%) 137(+1)
2020-10-04
12,381(+2.4%) 137(=)
2020-10-05
12,813(+3.5%) 137(=)
2020-10-06
13,504(+5.4%) 141(+4)
2020-10-07
13,993(+3.6%) 141(=)
2020-10-08
14,368(+2.7%) 146(+5)
2020-10-09
14,722(+2.5%) 152(+6)
2020-10-10
15,096(+2.5%) 155(+3)
2020-10-11
15,657(+3.7%) 157(+2)
2020-10-12
16,220(+3.6%) 159(+2)
2020-10-13
16,880(+4.1%) 163(+4)
2020-10-14
17,540(+3.9%) 167(+4)
2020-10-15
18,129(+3.4%) 170(+3)
2020-10-16
18,758(+3.5%) 176(+6)
2020-10-17
19,627(+4.6%) 180(+4)
2020-10-18
20,498(+4.4%) 187(+7)
2020-10-19
21,363(+4.2%) 190(+3)
2020-10-20
22,225(+4%) 193(+3)
2020-10-21
22,957(+3.3%) 199(+6)
2020-10-22
23,804(+3.7%) 204(+5)
2020-10-23
24,514(+3%) 214(+10)
2020-10-24
25,742(+5%) 221(+7)
2020-10-25
26,565(+3.2%) 229(+8)
2020-10-26
27,805(+4.7%) 236(+7)
2020-10-27
28,640(+3%) 238(+2)
2020-10-28
29,441(+2.8%) 246(+8)
2020-10-29
30,090(+2.2%) 246(=)
2020-10-30
30,889(+2.7%) 249(+3)
2020-10-31
31,548(+2.1%) 249(=)
2020-11-01
32,505(+3%) 249(=)
2020-11-02
33,339(+2.6%) 251(+2)
2020-11-03
34,393(+3.2%) 263(+12)
2020-11-04
35,425(+3%) 271(+8)
2020-11-05
36,434(+2.8%) 277(+6)
2020-11-06
38,189(+4.8%) 279(+2)
2020-11-07
39,357(+3.1%) 282(+3)
2020-11-08
40,209(+2.2%) 286(+4)
2020-11-09
41,181(+2.4%) 294(+8)
2020-11-10
42,050(+2.1%) 300(+6)
2020-11-11
42,872(+2%) 302(+2)
2020-11-12
43,791(+2.1%) 303(+1)
2020-11-13
45,095(+3%) 304(+1)
2020-11-14
46,209(+2.5%) 306(+2)
2020-11-15
47,417(+2.6%) 309(+3)
2020-11-16
48,520(+2.3%) 313(+4)
2020-11-17
49,730(+2.5%) 318(+5)
2020-11-18
50,390(+1.3%) 322(+4)
2020-11-19
51,680(+2.6%) 326(+4)
2020-11-20
52,638(+1.9%) 329(+3)
2020-11-21
53,679(+2%) 332(+3)
2020-11-22
54,775(+2%) 335(+3)
2020-11-23
56,659(+3.4%) 337(+2)
2020-11-24
58,847(+3.9%) 341(+4)
2020-11-25
59,817(+1.6%) 345(+4)
2020-11-26
60,752(+1.6%) 348(+3)
2020-11-27
61,861(+1.8%) 350(+2)
2020-11-28
63,176(+2.1%) 354(+4)
2020-11-29
64,485(+2.1%) 357(+3)
2020-11-30
65,697(+1.9%) 360(+3)
2020-12-01
67,169(+2.2%) 363(+3)
2020-12-02
68,020(+1.3%) 365(+2)
2020-12-03
69,095(+1.6%) 376(+11)
2020-12-04
70,236(+1.7%) 376(=)
2020-12-05
71,359(+1.6%) 380(+4)
2020-12-06
72,694(+1.9%) 382(+2)
2020-12-07
74,294(+2.2%) 384(+2)
2020-12-08
75,306(+1.4%) 388(+4)
2020-12-09
76,265(+1.3%) 393(+5)
2020-12-10
78,499(+2.9%) 396(+3)
2020-12-11
80,309(+2.3%) 402(+6)
2020-12-12
82,246(+2.4%) 411(+9)
2020-12-13
83,475(+1.5%) 415(+4)
2020-12-14
84,846(+1.6%) 419(+4)
2020-12-15
86,618(+2.1%) 422(+3)
2020-12-16
87,913(+1.5%) 429(+7)
2020-12-17
89,133(+1.4%) 432(+3)
2020-12-18
90,816(+1.9%) 432(=)
2020-12-19
91,969(+1.3%) 433(+1)
2020-12-20
93,309(+1.5%) 437(+4)
2020-12-21
95,327(+2.2%) 438(+1)
2020-12-22
97,389(+2.2%) 439(+1)
2020-12-23
98,737(+1.4%) 444(+5)
2020-12-24
100,318(+1.6%) 446(+2)
2020-12-25
101,565(+1.2%) 449(+3)
2020-12-26
103,900(+2.3%) 451(+2)
2020-12-27
105,096(+1.2%) 452(+1)
2020-12-28
106,690(+1.5%) 455(+3)
2020-12-29
108,615(+1.8%) 457(+2)
2020-12-30
110,485(+1.7%) 463(+6)
2020-12-31
113,010(+2.3%) 471(+8)
2021-01-01
115,078(+1.8%) 474(+3)
2021-01-02
117,373(+2%) 483(+9)
2021-01-03
119,077(+1.5%) 494(+11)
2021-01-04
120,818(+1.5%) 501(+7)
2021-01-05
122,845(+1.7%) 509(+8)
2021-01-06
125,438(+2.1%) 513(+4)
2021-01-07
128,465(+2.4%) 521(+8)
2021-01-08
131,108(+2.1%) 537(+16)
2021-01-09
133,559(+1.9%) 542(+5)
2021-01-10
135,992(+1.8%) 551(+9)
2021-01-11
138,224(+1.6%) 555(+4)
2021-01-12
141,533(+2.4%) 559(+4)
2021-01-13
144,518(+2.1%) 563(+4)
2021-01-14
147,855(+2.3%) 578(+15)
2021-01-15
151,066(+2.2%) 586(+8)
2021-01-16
155,095(+2.7%) 594(+8)
2021-01-17
158,434(+2.2%) 601(+7)
2021-01-18
161,740(+2.1%) 605(+4)
2021-01-19
165,371(+2.2%) 619(+14)
2021-01-20
169,379(+2.4%) 630(+11)
2021-01-21
172,549(+1.9%) 642(+12)
2021-01-22
176,180(+2.1%) 660(+18)
2021-01-23
180,455(+2.4%) 667(+7)
2021-01-24
183,801(+1.9%) 678(+11)
2021-01-25
186,849(+1.7%) 689(+11)
2021-01-26
190,434(+1.9%) 700(+11)
2021-01-27
194,114(+1.9%) 707(+7)
2021-01-28
198,208(+2.1%) 717(+10)
2021-01-29
203,933(+2.9%) 733(+16)
2021-01-30
209,661(+2.8%) 746(+13)
2021-01-31
214,959(+2.5%) 760(+14)
2021-02-01
219,173(+2%) 770(+10)
2021-02-02
222,628(+1.6%) 791(+21)
2021-02-03
226,912(+1.9%) 809(+18)
2021-02-04
231,483(+2%) 826(+17)
2021-02-05
234,874(+1.5%) 845(+19)
2021-02-06
238,721(+1.6%) 857(+12)
2021-02-07
242,452(+1.6%) 872(+15)
2021-02-08
245,552(+1.3%) 896(+24)
2021-02-09
248,316(+1.1%) 909(+13)
2021-02-10
251,604(+1.3%) 923(+14)
2021-02-11
254,988(+1.3%) 936(+13)
2021-02-12
258,306(+1.3%) 953(+17)
2021-02-13
261,805(+1.4%) 958(+5)
2021-02-14
264,269(+0.94%) 965(+7)
2021-02-15
266,445(+0.82%) 975(+10)
2021-02-16
269,165(+1%) 983(+8)
2021-02-17
272,163(+1.1%) 1,005(+22)
2021-02-18
274,875(+1%) 1,030(+25)
2021-02-19
277,811(+1.1%) 1,043(+13)
2021-02-20
280,272(+0.89%) 1,051(+8)
2021-02-21
283,569(+1.2%) 1,056(+5)
2021-02-22
285,761(+0.77%) 1,062(+6)
2021-02-23
288,229(+0.86%) 1,076(+14)
2021-02-24
291,774(+1.2%) 1,088(+12)
2021-02-25
293,698(+0.66%) 1,100(+12)
2021-02-26
295,951(+0.77%) 1,111(+11)
2021-02-27
298,315(+0.8%) 1,121(+10)
2021-02-28
300,752(+0.82%) 1,130(+9)
2021-03-01
302,580(+0.61%) 1,135(+5)
2021-03-02
304,135(+0.51%) 1,141(+6)
2021-03-03
305,880(+0.57%) 1,148(+7)
2021-03-04
307,943(+0.67%) 1,153(+5)
2021-03-05
310,097(+0.7%) 1,159(+6)
2021-03-06
311,777(+0.54%) 1,166(+7)
2021-03-07
313,460(+0.54%) 1,169(+3)
2021-03-08
314,989(+0.49%) 1,177(+8)
2021-03-09
316,269(+0.41%) 1,186(+9)
2021-03-10
317,717(+0.46%) 1,191(+5)
2021-03-11
319,364(+0.52%) 1,200(+9)
2021-03-12
320,939(+0.49%) 1,203(+3)
2021-03-13
322,409(+0.46%) 1,206(+3)
2021-03-14
323,763(+0.42%) 1,210(+4)
2021-03-15
324,971(+0.37%) 1,213(+3)
2021-03-16
326,034(+0.33%) 1,218(+5)
2021-03-17
327,253(+0.37%) 1,220(+2)
2021-03-18
328,466(+0.37%) 1,223(+3)
2021-03-19
330,042(+0.48%) 1,225(+2)
2021-03-20
331,713(+0.51%) 1,229(+4)
2021-03-21
333,040(+0.4%) 1,233(+4)
2021-03-22
334,156(+0.34%) 1,238(+5)
2021-03-23
335,540(+0.41%) 1,244(+6)
2021-03-24
336,808(+0.38%) 1,246(+2)
2021-03-25
338,168(+0.4%) 1,248(+2)
2021-03-26
339,443(+0.38%) 1,249(+1)
2021-03-27
340,642(+0.35%) 1,251(+2)
2021-03-28
341,944(+0.38%) 1,255(+4)
2021-03-29
342,885(+0.28%) 1,260(+5)
2021-03-30
344,018(+0.33%) 1,265(+5)
2021-03-31
345,500(+0.43%) 1,272(+7)
2021-04-01
346,678(+0.34%) 1,278(+6)
2021-04-02
347,972(+0.37%) 1,283(+5)
2021-04-03
349,610(+0.47%) 1,286(+3)
2021-04-04
350,959(+0.39%) 1,288(+2)
2021-04-05
352,029(+0.3%) 1,295(+7)
2021-04-06
353,329(+0.37%) 1,300(+5)
2021-04-07
354,468(+0.32%) 1,304(+4)
2021-04-08
355,753(+0.36%) 1,308(+4)
2021-04-09
357,607(+0.52%) 1,313(+5)
2021-04-10
359,117(+0.42%) 1,321(+8)
2021-04-11
360,856(+0.48%) 1,329(+8)
2021-04-12
362,173(+0.36%) 1,333(+4)
2021-04-13
363,940(+0.49%) 1,345(+12)
2021-04-14
365,829(+0.52%) 1,353(+8)
2021-04-15
367,977(+0.59%) 1,363(+10)
2021-04-16
370,528(+0.69%) 1,365(+2)
2021-04-17
372,859(+0.63%) 1,370(+5)
2021-04-18
375,054(+0.59%) 1,378(+8)
2021-04-19
377,132(+0.55%) 1,386(+8)
2021-04-20
379,473(+0.62%) 1,389(+3)
2021-04-21
381,813(+0.62%) 1,400(+11)
2021-04-22
384,688(+0.75%) 1,407(+7)
2021-04-23
387,535(+0.74%) 1,415(+8)
2021-04-24
390,252(+0.7%) 1,426(+11)
2021-04-25
392,942(+0.69%) 1,436(+10)
2021-04-26
395,718(+0.71%) 1,449(+13)
2021-04-27
398,451(+0.69%) 1,462(+13)
2021-04-28
401,593(+0.79%) 1,477(+15)
2021-04-29
404,925(+0.83%) 1,492(+15)
2021-04-30
408,713(+0.94%) 1,506(+14)
2021-05-01
411,594(+0.7%) 1,521(+15)
2021-05-02
415,012(+0.83%) 1,533(+12)
2021-05-03
417,512(+0.6%) 1,551(+18)
2021-05-04
420,632(+0.75%) 1,574(+23)
2021-05-05
424,376(+0.89%) 1,591(+17)
2021-05-06
427,927(+0.84%) 1,610(+19)
2021-05-07
432,425(+1.1%) 1,632(+22)
2021-05-08
436,944(+1%) 1,657(+25)
2021-05-09
440,677(+0.85%) 1,683(+26)
2021-05-10
444,484(+0.86%) 1,700(+17)
2021-05-11
448,457(+0.89%) 1,722(+22)
2021-05-12
453,222(+1.1%) 1,761(+39)
2021-05-13
458,077(+1.1%) 1,788(+27)
2021-05-14
462,190(+0.9%) 1,822(+34)
2021-05-15
466,330(+0.9%) 1,866(+44)
2021-05-16
470,110(+0.81%) 1,902(+36)
2021-05-17
474,556(+0.95%) 1,947(+45)
2021-05-18
479,421(+1%) 1,994(+47)
2021-05-19
485,496(+1.3%) 2,040(+46)
2021-05-20
492,302(+1.4%) 2,099(+59)
2021-05-21
498,795(+1.3%) 2,149(+50)
2021-05-22
505,115(+1.3%) 2,199(+50)
2021-05-23
512,091(+1.4%) 2,248(+49)
2021-05-24
518,600(+1.3%) 2,309(+61)
2021-05-25
525,889(+1.4%) 2,369(+60)
2021-05-26
533,367(+1.4%) 2,432(+63)
2021-05-27
541,224(+1.5%) 2,491(+59)
2021-05-28
549,514(+1.5%) 2,552(+61)
2021-05-29
558,534(+1.6%) 2,650(+98)
2021-05-30
565,533(+1.3%) 2,729(+79)
2021-05-31
572,357(+1.2%) 2,796(+67)
2021-06-01
579,462(+1.2%) 2,867(+71)
2021-06-02
587,165(+1.3%) 2,993(+126)
2021-06-03
595,374(+1.4%) 3,096(+103)
2021-06-04
603,122(+1.3%) 3,182(+86)
2021-06-05
610,574(+1.2%) 3,291(+109)
2021-06-06
616,815(+1%) 3,378(+87)
2021-06-07
622,086(+0.85%) 3,460(+82)
2021-06-08
627,652(+0.89%) 3,536(+76)
2021-06-09
633,891(+0.99%) 3,611(+75)
2021-06-10
639,562(+0.89%) 3,684(+73)
2021-06-11
646,411(+1.1%) 3,768(+84)
2021-06-12
652,204(+0.9%) 3,844(+76)
2021-06-13
657,508(+0.81%) 3,908(+64)
2021-06-14
662,457(+0.75%) 3,968(+60)
2021-06-15
667,876(+0.82%) 4,069(+101)
2021-06-16
673,026(+0.77%) 4,142(+73)
Source: Malaysian Ministry of Health via official website

The COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia is part of the ongoing worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The medical response and preparedness to the outbreak in Malaysia are overseen by Director-General of Health Noor Hisham Abdullah under the Health Ministry of two successive governments.[2] The first cases in Malaysia were confirmed among travellers from China in Johor via Singapore on 25 January.[3][4] While the outbreak was initially limited to imported cases, several local clusters emerged in March 2021. The most notable was a Tablighi Jamaat religious gathering in Kuala Lumpur, which cause a massive spike in local cases and imported cases in neighbouring countries.[5] By the end of March, the total number of cases had risen from below 30 to a staggering 2,000 active cases across every state and federal territory in the country.

At over 670,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, over 67,000 active cases, and over 4,100 deaths, the country is currently ranked third in the number of cases and deaths due to COVID-19 behind Indonesia and the Philippines.[6]

In response to rising cases, the Malaysian government led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin imposed a nationwide lockdown known as Movement Control Order, which came into effect on 18 March 2020.[7][8][9] By early May, these MCO lockdowns had led to a gradual decline in daily infections. In response, the Malaysian government progressively relaxed lockdown restrictions in a staggered phase; beginning with the "Conditional Movement Control Order" (CMCO) on 4 May 2020,[10] followed by the "Recovery Movement Control Order" (RMCO) on 10 June 2020.[11] The Malaysian government had planned to end RMCO at the end of August 2020 but due to the continuous detection of imported cases, measures were extended until the end of the year. Several sectors were remaining closed as well as the enforcement of strict travel restrictions from several countries.[12][13][14]

The third wave of COVID-19 infections in the country occurred as a result of the Sabah state election in September 2020 and several outbreaks at Top Glove facilities in late 2020.[15][16] In response to a sharp rise in cases nationwide throughout late 2020 and early 2021, the Malaysian government reinstated CMCO and RMCO restrictions in most states.[17][18] By January 2021, the crippling effect of COVID-19 on the country's healthcare system led to the reintroduction of MCO restrictions across the various Malaysian states and federal territories, which was extended to February 18 and then to March 4, 2021.[19][20][21] A nationwide state of emergency was also declared on 12 January 2021 by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to curb the COVID-19 spread, hence suspending Parliament and State Legislative assemblies and granting the Muhyiddin government emergency powers until 1 August 2021.[22]

Due to a decline in new cases by early March, the government lifted MCO restrictions in most states and federal territories.[23] The COVID-19 vaccination programme in Malaysia also began in late February 2021 as an approach to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19 among its citizens and non-citizens that are residing in the country.[24] Since mid-April 2021, several states with an increase in the number of daily infection cases have been placed under MCO restrictions by the government.[25][26][27][28][29][30] With more concerning foreign SARS-CoV-2 variants detected in Malaysia, exacerbated by a rapid surge in daily COVID-19 case and death numbers in the country, the government reintroduced nationwide MCO once more, beginning on May 12, 2021.[31][32]

Nomenclature[edit]

The Ministry of Health originally referred to this disease as the "2019 Novel Coronavirus".[33] Some media referred to this disease as the "Wuhan Coronavirus".[34] During the onset of the outbreak, the Malaysian media called it the "radang paru-paru Wuhan" in Malay, meaning "Wuhan Pneumonia".[35] Then some media changed the name to "radang paru-paru koronavirus baru" (new coronavirus pneumonia) in Malay.[36] The Ministry of Health and most media now refer to the disease as "COVID-19", as suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 February 2020.[37]

Background[edit]

On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019.[38][39]

Unlike the SARS outbreak of 2003, the case fatality ratio for COVID-19 has been much lower,[40][41] but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll.[42][40]

Transmission timeline[edit]

Director-General of Health, Dr. Noor Hisham in February 2020.

Malaysia reported its first three cases on 25 January 2020, all of whom were Chinese nationals who had visited the country.[43][44] By 30 January, the number of cases had risen to eight.[45][46] In response, the Ministry of Health published guidelines on the virus and established designated hospitals in all of Malaysia's states and federal territories to manage any positive cases.[47] Local authorities also advised Malaysians travelling to China to stay away from animal farms and markets in that country.[48] Following several earlier suspected cases involving Chinese nationals, the Sabah and Sarawak state governments suspended all direct flights with China.[49][50]

In response to a surge of cases originating in South Korea, the Malaysian Government imposed a ban on visitors from South Korea on 26 February, including foreign nationals who had visited Daegu and Cheongdo.[51] Malaysia experienced a spike in COVID-19 cases following a four-day Tablighi Jamaat event that was held at Kuala Lumpur's "Masjid Jamek Sri Petaling" between 27 February and 1 March 2020.[52][53] By 20 March, 48% of the country's COVID-19 cases (3,347) had been linked to the Sri Petaling tabligh cluster.[54] In response to the rise in cases nationally, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that Malaysia would enter into lockdown on 18 March 2020.[7][8] On 17 March, Malaysia reported its first two deaths from the coronavirus: a 60-year-old priest from Emmanuel Baptist Church in Kuching, Sarawak and a 34-year-old participant of the Muslim religious gathering in Sri Petaling from Johor Bahru, Johor.[55]

On 3 April, a spike in 217 new cases was reported, bringing the total number to 3,333.[56] The Director-General of Health Noor Hisham Abdullah attributed this spike to active detection in areas affected by Enhanced Movement Controlled Order, a stricter version of the MCO.[57] In response to rising cases, the Government extended the movement control order until 28 April.[58]

On 1 May, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the country's lockdown would be eased on 4 May, allowing most businesses to reopen while maintaining a ban on mass gatherings.[59] From 21 May, a spike of cases occurred among detainees at immigration detention centres in Bukit Jalil and Semenyih, Selangor,[60][61] causing the number of cases to rise to a total of 7,819 cases by 31 May.[62] On 22 May, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin entered into quarantine for 14 days after an official who attended a post-Cabinet briefing the previous day tested positive for COVID-19.[63]

On 1 June, a total of 7,857 cases were reported while the total number of recovered and deaths stood at 6,404 and 115 respectively.[64] On 6 June, Director-General Noor Hisham encouraged members of the public to wear face masks following advice from the World Health Organization that it helped to reduce infections.[65] By 30 June, there were 164 active cases, with a total of 8,639 cases. The number of recovered had risen to 8,534 while the death toll stood at 121.[66]

On 1 July, there were 144 active cases with a total of 8,640 cases. A total of 8,375 had recovered while the death toll stood at 121.[67] On 20 July, Prime Minister Muhyiddin announced that the Malaysian Government would consider making face masks compulsory following the emergence of 13 clusters after the relaxation of lockdown restrictions on travel and businesses the previous month.[68] By 31 July, there were 207 active cases with a total of 8,976 cases. The number of recovered had risen to 8,644 while the death toll had risen to 125.[69]

On 1 August, there were 213 active cases with a total of 8,985 cases. A total of 8,647 have recovered while the death toll stayed at 125.[70] By 31 August, there were 160 active cases with a total of 9,340 cases. A total of 9,054 had recovered while the death toll had risen to 127.[71]

At least two regional outbreaks have occurred since July 2020. In late July and August, several clusters emerged in Kedah and Sarawak.[72][73][74] In September 2020, a major outbreak in Sabah initially detected in two prisons led to community spread within the state, a sharp increase to over 1,000 active cases, and the detection of infections throughout the country through returnees from Sabah following the 2020 Sabah state election. Malaysian authorities also attributed the surge of cases in Sabah to the entry of illegal immigrants from Indonesia.[75][76] The country passed the 10,000 cases mark on 16 September 2020, and 11 deaths, primarily in Kedah and Sabah, were reported between the month ends of August and September.[77] By 30 September, there were a total of 1,124 active cases with a total of 11,124 cases. A total of 9,967 had recovered while the death toll had risen to 136.[78]

On 1 October, there were 1,334 active cases with a total of 11,484 cases. A total of 10,014 have recovered while the death toll had risen to 136.[79] By 31 October, there were 10,051 active cases with a total of 31,548 cases. A total of 21,248 have recovered while the death toll had risen to 249.[80]

On 18 November, the number of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia officially reached the 50,000 mark.[81] The following day, the Director General Noor Hisham Abdullah announced that over 9,000 of the country's COVID-19 cases were detected through the MySejahtera contact tracing app launched on 20 April.[82] By 30 November, there were a total of 10,578 active cases with a total of 54,759 cases. A total of 54,759 had recovered while the death toll had risen to 360.[83]

By 4 December, the number of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia had reached the 70,000 mark.[84] By 10 December, the total number of cases had reached the 80,000 mark while the death toll had risen to 402.[85] By 18 December, the total number of cases had exceeded 90,000.[86] On 23 December, the Malaysian Health Ministry confirmed that it had identified a new COVID-19 strain dubbed the “A701B” strain, which is more infectious than usual and similar to a strain found in South Africa, Australia, and the Netherlands.[87] By 24 December, the total number of cases had exceeded 100,000.[88] By 31 December, Malaysia had reported a total of 113,010 cases, 88,941 recoveries, and 471 deaths.[89]

By 6 January 2021, the number of recovered had exceeded 100,000. On the same day, the Director General reported there were 252 active clusters in Malaysia.[90] On 7 January, a record number of 3,027 new cases were reported, bringing the total number to 128,465.[91] By 25 January 2021, Malaysia ranked 29th in a list of countries with the highest number of infections over a two-week period published by Johns Hopkins University, with 48,625 new infections during that period.[92] On 29 January, Malaysia exceeded the 200,000 mark, with a total number of 203,933 reported cases.[93]

By 11 February, the total number of recoveries had reached 202,269 while the total number of cases had reached 254,988.[94] On 18 February, the death toll exceeded the 1,000 mark, reaching 1,005 deaths.[95] By 28 February, the total number of cases had exceeded the 300,000 mark, reaching 300,752. In addition, the total number of recoveries had reached 273,417 while the death toll had reached 1,130.[96]

By 11 March, the total number of recoveries had exceeded the 300,000 mark, reaching 300,620.[97] By 31 March, the total number of cases had reached 345,500, the number of recoveries 329,624, and the death toll 1,272.[98]

By 28 April 2021, the total number of cases had exceeded the 400,000 mark, reaching 401,593.[99] By 30 April, the total number of cases had reached 408,713, the number of recoveries 377,980, while the death toll had climbed to 1,506.[100]

By 9 May 2021, the total number of recoveries had met the 400,000 mark, reaching 401,934.[101] By 22 May, the total number of cases had reached the 500,000 mark, reaching 505,115.[102] By 31 May, the total number of cases had reached 572,357, the number of recoveries 490,038, and the death toll 2,796.[103]

By 2 June 2021, the total number of recoveries had exceeded the 500,000 mark, reaching 501,898.[104] By 3 June, the national death toll had exceed the 3,000 mark, reaching 3,096.[105] By 4 June, the total number of active cases had exceeded the 400,000 mark, rising to 603,122.[106] By 15 June, the death toll had exceeded the 4,000 mark, reaching 4,069 deaths.[107] By 16 June, the total number of recoveries had exceeded 600,000 reaching 600,935.[108]

Federal government responses[edit]

Movement Control Order[edit]

Temperature checkup at a McDonald's restaurant in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur during movement control order.

Beginning from 15 March, Malaysia saw a significant jump in active cases. The Prime Minister of Malaysia held a live nationwide telecast on 16 March 2020 at 10:00 pm (UTC+8) to announce the decision of the federal government in implementing the Movement Control Order (MCO). Based on the live addressing that evening, six restrictions have been imposed:

  1. The public is prohibited from mass gather or attends massive events including religious, sports, social and cultural activities. All worshipping locations and business premises should be closed except for supermarkets, public markets, grocery stores and convenience stores that sells everyday necessities. For Muslims, all religious activities in mosques including Friday prayers are adjourned in line with the decision made on 15 March 2020 by the Special Muzakarah Committee Meeting of the National Fatwa Council.[109]
  2. Malaysians returning from abroad are required to undergo health check and self-quarantine for 14 days.[109]
  3. Tourists and foreign visitors are restricted to enter the country.[109]
  4. Closure of all kindergartens, government and private schools, including daily schools, boarding schools, international schools, tahfiz centres and other primary, secondary and pre-university institutions.[109]
  5. Closure of all public and private higher education institution (IPTs) and skill training institutes.[109]
  6. Closure of all government and private premises except for essential services (water, electricity, energy, telecommunications, postal, transportation, irrigation, oil, gas, fuel, lubricants, broadcasting, finance, banking, health, pharmacy, fire, prison, port, airport, safety, defence, cleaning, retail and food supply).[109]

The order was originally to be in effect from 18 March to 31 March,[7][8] but has been extended four times as additional two-week "phases" over the course of two months:

  • Phase 2, announced on 25 March, extends the MCO to 14 April,[110][111] as new cases continued to climb.
  • Phase 3, announced on 10 April, extends the MCO to 28 April,[112][113] as the number of cases was projected by the WHO to peak in mid-April.[114][115]
  • Phase 4, announced on 23 April, extends the MCO to 12 May.[116] On 1 May, the Malaysian Government announced that it will be relaxing Movement Control Order restrictions from 4 May as part of its plan to gradually restart the country's economy in three different phases, with public transportation services resuming on 4 May.[117] As part of the fourth phase of the Movement Control Order, two family members will be allowed to buy food and other daily essentials.[118] The easing of MCO drew criticisms from politicians and healthcare experts over concerns that it was too much too soon,[119] and by 3 May, over 420,000 members of the public had signed a petition objecting to the conditional MCO and calling for the government to stay with the MCO.[120]
  • On 10 May, the Conditional Movement Control Order was extended until 9 June, the fourth extension since 18 March. Unlike the others, this extension is scheduled to last about a month as Phase 1 of post-lockdown of the restrictions.[121][122]
  • On 6 June, the Director-General confirmed that the movement control order would remain in force since Malaysia is still being monitored under the Prevention and Control of Infections Diseases Act 1988.[65] On 7 June, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the Conditional Movement Control Order would end on 9 June, with the country moving into the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) phase as in Phase 2 of post-lockdown for the rest of 2020.[123]
  • On 28 August, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the Recovery Movement Control Order would be extended until 12 February 2021 in view of the second wave of cases.[12][124][125] In view of that, on 12 October, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the government has agreed to enforce Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya effective from 12.01am on 14 October to 27 October 2020.[126]
  • On 3 October, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the Malaysian Government would not be re-imposing lockdown measures despite a spike in cases as the majority of cases were reported in detention centres and isolated districts.[127]
  • On 20 October, employees in the private and public sectors, at the management and supervisory levels, in areas under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) which are Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Selangor, Labuan and Sabah have been instructed to work from home starting Thursday, 22 October.[128]
  • On 7 November, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the Malaysian Government would be reinstating its CMCO throughout peninsular Malaysia with the exception of Kelantan, Perlis, and Pahang between 9 November and 6 December 2020. In addition, CMCO measures for Sabah, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, and Putraya, which were scheduled to end on 9 November, were extended until 6 December.[129]
  • On 11 January, Prime Minister Muhyiddin re-imposed MCO restrictions on mobility, economic activities, and public gatherings in the states of Malacca, Johor, Penang, Selangor, Sabah and the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, and Labuan between 13 and 26 January 2021 due to an ongoing surge of cases and deaths.[130]
  • On 2 February, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob extended MCO restrictions in all states except Sarawak from 5 to 18 February 2021.[131]
  • On 5 March, Selangor, Johor, Penang and Kuala Lumpur exited the Movement Control Order lockdown and entered the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).[132]
  • On 3 May, the Malaysian Government Movement Control Order restrictions in Johor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Sarawak, and Selangor in response to a spike in COVID-19 cases. Schools were closed and social and religious activities were banned. While some economic activities were allowed, eateries can only provide takeaway services.[133]
  • A nationwide MCO lockdown will be reinstated from 12 May to 7 June. Dining in, social activities and shopping areas will be banned, although workers are allowed to go to work and come back home. Inter-district and inter-state travel are banned.[134]
  • A nationwide "total lockdown" will be imposed between 1 and 14 June for all social and economic sectors, with only essential social and economic activities being allowed to operate during that period.[135][136]

Emergency powers[edit]

On 25 October 2020, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah of Pahang rejected Prime Minister Muhyiddin's request for him to declare a state of emergency in response to a spike in COVID-19 cases throughout Malaysia.[137]

On 16 December, Prime Minister Muhyiddin invoked a state of emergency to stop by-elections scheduled to be held in the Bugaya constituency of Sabah and the Gerik constituency in Perak scheduled for January 2021. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Abdullah had assented to the request to impose the states of emergency within these two electorates in response to a third wave of infections, which had risen to a total of 86,000 cases and 422 deaths by 16 December.[138]

On 12 January 2021, King Abdullah of Pahang declared a national state of emergency until at least 1 August 2021 to curb the spread of COVID-19 and in response to a political crisis involving Prime Minister Muhyiddin's Perikatan Nasional government. Under this state of emergency, parliament and elections were suspended while the Malaysian government was empowered to introduce laws without approval.[139][140]

Bans on mass gathering events[edit]

Immediately after the spikes of the cases which related to the Sri Petaling Tabligh event, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that religious, social and sports mass gatherings must be cancelled or postponed until 30 April 2020.[141][142] However, the end date for the ban on mass gathering events are subject to revision depending on the situation of the outbreak.[143] In addition, Registrar of Societies (RoS) bans all parties registered with RoS from organising any meeting and activities until 30 June 2020.[144]

On 4 February 2021, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that Chinese New Year family reunion dinners would only be allowed at their residences among family members from the same household.[145] These "standard operating procedures" were criticised by several politicians and public figures including Deputy national unity minister Ti Lian Ker and Member of Parliament Ong Kian Ming as "culturally insensitive" and unnecessary.[146] The National Unity Ministry subsequently allowed Chinese New Year family reunions of 15 family members living within a 10 km radius that did not involve inter-state or inter-district travel.[147]

Economic stimulus plan[edit]

On 23 March 2020, the Malaysian Government allocated RM600 million to the Ministry of Health for the purchase of equipment and to hire contract personnel, especially nurses. It has also announced that contributors of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) can withdraw up to RM500 per month for 12 months.[148]

On 27 March, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin launched an economic stimulus package known as the Prihatin ("caring package") worth RM250 billion. This package consists of RM128 billion for welfare assistance, RM100 billion to support small and medium businesses, RM2 billion to strengthen the country's economy, and a RM20 billion stimulus package that was previously announced by the government.[149] An allocation of RM130 million was also distributed equally to all states to help overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.[150] In addition, the central bank Bank Negara Malaysia also cut interest rates to 1%.[151]

The details of the plan are:

  1. Budget of RM500 million to the Ministry of Health to enhance the health and resources of the ministry.
  2. The government raises special allowances for healthcare workers from RM400 to RM600 a month from 1 April until the end of the pandemic.
  3. Additional special allowance of RM200 per month for frontliner for police, immigration, Customs Department, Malaysian Civil Defence Force and RELA Corps personnel.
  4. Aid of RM1,600 to households earning less than RM4,000, with RM1,000 paid in April and RM600 in May.
  5. National Concerns fund with RM10 billion worth of cash payments will be provided to groups B40 and M40, including private workers, farmers and fishermen. These include RM1,600 to four million households earning RM4,000 and below; RM1,000 for households earning RM4,000 above; RM800 for Malaysians aged 21 and over who earn RM2,000 and below; RM500 for Malaysians aged 21 and over earns between RM2,000 and RM4,000.
  6. RM200 of one-time assistance to affected higher education institution students.
  7. Free internet from April onwards until the end of the MCO.
  8. The joint government of TNB will increase the allocation of RM530 million for a discount of between 15% and 50% for electricity usage up to 600 kW [sic] per month for six months from the April bill.
  9. Exemption of rent for Program Perumahan Rakyat and public housing for six months.
  10. Insurance and takaful companies set aside RM8 million to cover COVID-19 inspection costs up to RM300 per policyholder.
  11. Government to provide a payment of RM500 to approximately 120,000 e-hailing drivers starting 1 April.
  12. The Government and Bank Negara Malaysia will set aside an additional allocation of RM4.5 billion for SMEs and micro-entrepreneurs which will consist of five initiatives.
  13. One-off RM500 aid for 120,000 e-hailing drivers nationwide with an allocation of RM60 million. This is in addition to the one-time assistance announced for taxi drivers announced in the previous stimulus package.
  14. The government will pay the salaries incurred by contractors involved in the service sector, such as cleaning services and food supplies cooked at government agencies.
  15. The government will introduce a subsidy of RM600 a month for three months for employers with a 50% reduction since 1 January, for workers with less than RM4,000 in salaries.
  16. The government will continue all projects allocated in the 2020 Budget, including ECRL, MRT2 and the National Sustainability and Sustainability Plan (NFCP) in line with its focus on ensuring sustainable economic development.
  17. Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) is tax-exempted for all sectors for six months beginning April 2020.
  18. Federal government premises such as school cafeteria, nursery, cafeteria and convenience store are exempt from rent for six months.
  19. Government pensioners to receive RM500 cash assistance.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin launched a special stimulus plan on 6 April, worth RM10 billion aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to mitigate the impact of action control orders (MCO). Muhyiddin said that SMEs and micro-enterprises accounted for two-thirds of the country's manpower and contributed 40% of the country's economy. This is in addition to other economic stimulus plans that increase cash flow to ensure that the economy will not collapse.[152]

On 5 June, the Prime Minister announced the Short-Term Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) to alleviate the effects of the pandemic.[153] The details of the plan are:

  1. Nearly RM9 billion to address rising unemployment.
  2. The Wage Subsidy Programme to be extended for another three months.
  3. Employers can apply for the Wage Subsidy Programme if they were not allowed to operate during CMCO.
  4. Penjana has 40 initiatives worth RM35 billion, of which RM10 billion is a direct fiscal injection by the government.
  5. An employment subsidy programme worth RM1.5 billion for companies hiring unemployed people.
  6. Companies that employ Malaysians under 40 to be given RM800 per worker while those that employ Malaysians above 40 or disabled people to be given RM1,000, for a period of six months.
  7. Public transport users can pay RM30 per month for unlimited rides from 15 June to 31 December.
  8. Grants for daycare centre operators for abiding standard operating procedures.
  9. E-vouchers for those ordering childcare services online.
  10. Up to RM3,000 incentive of individual income tax for fees paid by parents to daycare centres and kindergartens.
  11. RM70 million for the Shop Malaysia Online campaign.
  12. RM2 billion by the banking sector to assist SMEs, with a threshold of RM500,000 per SME.
  13. RM400 million to fund the Penjana microcredit by Tekun and Bank Simpanan Nasional, with RM50 million for female entrepreneurs.
  14. RM1 billion for the tourism industry under the Penjana Tourism Funding.
  15. Cash-flow aid by SME Bank for G2 and G3 contractors that are awarded minor government projects.
  16. RM10 million for the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre to fund social enterprises for social projects.
  17. The Penjana Nasional fund worth RM600 million to drive the process of digitalisation of businesses and innovation.
  18. RM75 million for draft policies related to the gig economy.
  19. RM50 million matching grant for gig workers' EPF and Socso contributions.
  20. RM75 million to e-wallets, or RM50 per person.
  21. Full tax exemption for purchase of locally assembled cars from June to 31 December.
  22. RM50 million for the Malaysian Investment Development Authority for promotional and marketing activities.
  23. Full exemption of tourism tax from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.
  24. Exemption of services tax on lodgings and accommodation services from 1 September 2020 to 30 June 2021.
  25. Waiver of penalty to companies that are late in submitting payment for sales and services tax.
  26. Free 1GB of Internet data from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily until 31 December.[154]
  27. Stamp duty exemption for transfer of property limited to the first RM1 million of home price.[155]
  28. Stamp duty exemption for loan agreements for purchase of home between RM300,000 and RM2.5 million effective for sales and purchase agreements signed from 1 June 2020 to 31 May 2021.
  29. Real property gains tax exemption for disposal of up to three properties from 1 June 2020 to 31 December 2021.

Disinformation[edit]

Some people have been arrested for allegedly spreading false information about the COVID-19 pandemic.[156][157] As of May 17, 2020, police and the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) have opened 265 investigations on COVID-19 related fake news. A total of 30 people have been charged, 11 were served with a warning notice and 18 others pleaded guilty.[158]

On 11 March 2021, the Government announced the Emergency (Essential Powers) (No.2) Ordinance 2021, which states that those who spread "fake news" "by any means, with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause fear or alarm to the public" could face a fine of RM100,000 or three years imprisonment or both.[159]

Medical responses[edit]

The medical response to the outbreak in Malaysia is overseen by Director-General of Health Noor Hisham Abdullah under the Health Ministry of two successive governments. Preparations to stockpile equipment, detect and monitor cases, and treat COVID-19 patients were reported to have been initiated as early as 6 January 2020, following a World Health Organization (WHO) report on a late-December 2019 outbreak of "pneumonia of unknown cause" in the city of Wuhan in Hubei, China.[160]

Face masks[edit]

On 23 July, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that it will be compulsory for people to wear face masks in public spaces such as markets and public transportation from 1 August, with violators facing a RM1,000 (US$235) fine.[161]

Testing and treatment centres[edit]

On 5 January, the National Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) under the Ministry of Health Malaysia began operation.[162] By early-February, 57 hospitals were reported to provide screening services for coronavirus,[162] while among them, 26 government hospitals are responsible for the confirmation of coronavirus and the suspected patients.[163][164] With the rapid increase of infections, a further total of 409 sites across the country have been gazetted by the federal government as quarantine zones for coronavirus patients comprising public universities, community colleges, technical institutes, former National Service (PLKN) camps, training centres, polytechnics and hotels owned by federal ministries, departments, agencies and statutory bodies.[165] As of 2 May 2020, 5,484 beds at 40 hospitals, 3,873 beds (in addition to 2,100 beds on standby) at 26 hospital extension centres/low-risk COVID-19 centres, 422 ICU beds, and 1,059 ventilators have been allocated for COVID-19 patients.[166]

Based on the January 29 circular from the Malaysia Ministry of Health, foreigners in Malaysia would not have to pay for COVID-19 testing or outpatient treatment at government hospitals. This announcement was reiterated by the health director-general Datuk Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah on March 23, 2020, when asked to clarify a statement made by the prime minister that foreigners would have to pay for COVID-19 testing.[167]

On 8 April, a consortium of associated laboratories in Malaysia comprising Gribbles Pathology, Quantum Diagnostics and Clinipath Malaysia launched the country's largest COVID-19 collection and testing programme to increase testing capacity.[168] Malaysian public universities also providing research and scientific capacity with 10 diagnostic laboratories at public higher learning institutions in the country nationwide have been called as part of a joint initiative by the Higher Education and Science, Technology and Innovation Ministries to help the Health Ministry in conducting 16,500 coronavirus tests daily.[169] In spite of further capabilities to conduct more tests, the Health Ministry had stated that the country is yet to find its suitable rapid test kits to solved the increasing backlog of pending result cases along with the revelation that the existing supply of coronavirus reagents test kits could only last for another week which causing the Health Ministry to source from other countries including Singapore.[170][171] As a response, the Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Hua Zong) has called on the federal government to ensure sufficient coronavirus test kit reagents for the country especially among the Malaysia's eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak which are reportedly struggling to source test kit reagents.[171]

The Solidarity trial, launched by WHO to compare the safety and effectiveness of treatment protocols which included chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, interferon-beta, lopinavir/ritonavir and remdesivir, would be conducted in nine government hospitals across the country.[172]

On 3 July, Minister of Health Adham Baba announced that both Malaysian citizens and foreign nationals traveling to Malaysia would be required to pay fees when undergoing COVID-19 tests under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Fee for Coronavirus Diseases 2019 (COVID-19) Detection Test) Regulations 2020, which came into effect on 29 June.[173]

On 24 December, Malaysian Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob confirmed that the National Security Council would require the compulsory screening of all foreign workers from 1 January 2021 so that action can be taken against employers who refuse to have their workers tested.[174]

By 16 May 2021, Health Secretary-General Noor Hisham Abdullah confirmed that intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy rates at hospitals in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang, Sarawak, Kedah, and Perak had reached 80% due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some hospitals have used up all their ICU beds to treat COVID-19 patients.[175] As a result, Malaysian authorities have been forced to deploy military-built hospitals and field hospitals. The Health Ministry has been forced to postpone elective surgery operations while semi-emergencies have been transferred out of COVID-19 hospitals.[176]

Vaccination efforts[edit]

Between November 2020 and January 2021, the Malaysian Government entered into agreements with several governments, international organizations, and companies including the Chinese Government, AstraZeneca, Covax, Pfizer, Pharmaniaga Berhad and Duopharma to procure various COVID-19 vaccine stocks for the country.[177][178][179][180] In late January 2021, a COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences' Institute of Medical Biology became the first COVID-19 vaccine trial in Malaysia.[181]

In early February 2021, the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin was appointed as the Coordinating Minister for the immunization program.[182] On 11 February, the Special Committee on Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply announced that COVID-19 vaccines would be distributed freely to both citizens and resident foreigners.[183] On 24 February, the COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV) was also established to facilitate the procurement of COVID-19 vaccine supplies for the country. The Government also launched a twelve month immunization program between 24 February 2021 and February 2022, with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin being the first individual in Malaysia to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.[184]

Travel and border control policies[edit]

Travel restrictions[edit]

Temporary Prohibition in Sabah
Prohibition dated 7 February 2020 in Sabah.
Temporary Prohibition in Sarawak
Prohibition dated 1 February 2020 in Sarawak.
Temporary Prohibition released by the State Secretary of the Government of Sabah and Sarawak Disaster Management Committee of the Government of Sarawak.

Under the Movement Control Order put in place in 18 March, all citizens were prohibited from leaving the country while foreigners were also prohibited from entering the country.[185]

Since the first wave of the virus was reported, thermal scanners were introduced at border points with the Malaysian health authorities placed on high alert.[186] After the ban on travellers from Hubei on 27 January, the Malaysian federal government extended its ban to the Chinese provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang on 9 February.[187] The state of Sabah expanded their travel restriction to all points of entry by air, sea or land starting 8 February, involving everyone except Sabahan citizens with recent travel history to mainland China within 14 days, while Sabahan citizens with such travel history must undergo a 14-day quarantine at home.[188] The state of Sarawak closed its borders to all Chinese visitors with immediate effect on 1 February, except for people with employment passes, student passes or long-term social visit passes. However, those visitors were required to undergo self-quarantine at home for 14 days.[189] With the increasing cases in South Korea, both Sabah and Sarawak government began to extended its travel restrictions into the country from 1 March.[190][191] On 4 March, Sarawak further added Italy and Iran into its travel restrictions list.[192]

On 5 March, Malaysia added seven regions towards its travel restriction list, which include Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna in Italy; Hokkaido in Japan; and Tehran, Qom and Gilan in Iran.[193] By 10 March, Sabah also began to added Italy and Iran into its restrictions list.[194] On 11 March, Malaysia announced a full restriction on foreign nationals directly from Italy, Iran and South Korea starting from 13 March, while Malaysians from those countries will be quarantined for 14 days.[195] Following the 13 March Denmark lockdown, Malaysia has added the country into its travel ban list effective from 14 March.[196]

On 6 April, visitors from the following regions can enter Malaysia by air exclusively: Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, DR Congo, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda and Western Sahara.[197]

On 16 May, the Malaysian Government announced that it would be allowing "Malaysia My Second Home" (MM2H) programme members who were stranded overseas to return to Malaysia from 17 May. However, they must undergo testing for COVID-19 in the place that they are in and must be certified free of the coronavirus in order to enter Malaysia. They will also be quarantined for 14 days.[198]

On 1 September, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that long-term pass holders from India, Indonesia and the Philippines would be unable to enter Malaysia due to a spike of cases in those countries effective 7 September.[199]

On 7 September, the Immigration Department banned nationals from 23 countries with a high number of COVID-19 cases including the United States, Brazil, India, Russia, Peru, Colombia, South Africa, Mexico, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Iran, Bangladesh, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, France, Turkey, Italy, Germany, Iraq, Philippines and Indonesia. The ban includes permanent residents, participants of the "Malaysia My Second Home" program, and expatriates, professional visit pass holders, the spouses of Malaysian citizens, and students.[200]

Overseas travel alert and quarantine arrangements[edit]

The following are warnings and quarantine arrangements for inbound and outbound travel:

Alert level Country Date of issue Cancellation date Note
Prohibit  China 9 February 2020 In force In response to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Mainland China, the government announced that travellers from the three Chinese provinces of Hubei, Jiangsu and Zhejiang are banned with immediate effect from 9 February.[187]
Prohibit  Iran
 Italy
 South Korea
13 March 2020 In force In response to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Iran, Italy and South Korea, the government announced that all Malaysian citizens, permanent residents and people with long-term residence permits from that date must be self-quarantine at their homes for 14 days after returning from the three countries.[195]
Prohibit  Denmark 14 March 2020 In force In response to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Denmark and its recent lockdown, the government announced a travel ban to the country.[196]
Prohibit All countries 18 March 2020 In force With the movement control order put in place since 18 March, all citizens have been prohibited from leaving the country with foreigners also prohibited from entering the country.[185]

Repatriation of Malaysian nationals abroad[edit]

Record Form of Repatriation for Malaysian non-main officials abroad
Departure date Number of passengers Departure airport Arrival airport
4 February 2020 107[201] Wuhan – Tianhe KL – International
26 February 2020 66[202]
21 March 2020 212[203] Tashkent – Islam Karimov
22 March 2020 55 (comprising 46 Malaysians, eight Singaporeans and one Indonesian)[204] Tehran – Imam Khomeini
27 March 2020 162[205] HCMC – Tan Son Nhat
30 March 2020 179[206] Amritsar – Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee
31 March 2020 144[206] Yangon – Mingaladon
1 April 2020 121[207] Bangkok – Suvarnabhumi
2 April 2020 160[208] Medan – Kualanamu
11 April 2020 110[209] Islamabad – Fateh Jang

The Malaysian government has made the repatriation of its citizens abroad a priority; beginning with the first repatriations from China.[210] During the first repatriation, two persons were found to be infected with the virus and were subsequently quarantined and treated in the country until they have fully recovered.[211][212]

On 21 March, a total of 212 Malaysians arrived from Uzbekistan through a flight sponsored by the Uzbekistan government which is also being used to repatriated Uzbek citizens in Malaysia.[203] On that same day, 372 Malaysians departed Tamil Nadu on two chartered flights. On 22 March, it was reported that the Malaysian government was waiting for the Indian government's permission to organise six more flights to evacuate Malaysians still in India.[213]

On 31 March, Deputy Foreign Minister Kamaruddin Jaffar confirmed that 4,374 Malaysians were stranded abroad due to the travel restrictions and delays created by the global coronavius pandemic. This figure only consists of Malaysians who had bought return tickets but were unable to return due to travel restrictions. According to Kamaruddin, 2,156 Malaysians are stranded in India, 680 in Indonesia, 337 in Thailand, 226 in Australia, 153 in New Zealand, 128 in Pakistan, and 121 in Saudi Arabia.[206]

On 5 April, Deputy Foreign Minister Kamaruddin announced that the Government had brought back 4,811 stranded Malaysians from affected countries. He also upgraded the number of Malaysians stranded abroad to 2,298: 1,016 in India, 172 in Thailand, 136 in New Zealand, 128 in Pakistan, 122 in Vietnam, 83 in Saudi Arabia, 77 in Australia, 66 in the Philippines, 65 in Sri Lanka, and 43 in Nepal.[214]

On 6 May 2021, Foreign Minister Hishamuddin Hussein confirmed that the Malaysian Government would begin evacuating citizens from the northern and western regions of India via New Delhi and Mumbai in response to a surge of cases in those regions.[215]

Domestic travel[edit]

On 7 June 2020, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that interstate travel would be allowed from 10 June except in areas classified under the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO).[216]

On 13 June, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that Malaysians from peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, and Labuan would be allowed to enter Sarawak without having to seek permission from the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) and take COVID-19 PCR tests prior to leaving for the state.[217]

On 15 June, the Health Minister Adham Baba proposed retaining a ban on interstate travel during the Eid al-Fitr period in response to rising cases that week.[218]

In March 2021, Sabah's districts were grouped into "zones" by the state government during the recovery movement control order, and travel was possible within these zones instead of just within districts. This was in part to boost domestic tourism, and was seen as successful by the government.[219]

On 8 May 2021, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob confirmed that all interstate and inter-district travel without police approval would be banned across the country from 10 May to 6 June 2021.[220]

Overseas travel and quarantine[edit]

On 31 March 2020, the Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that all Malaysians returning from overseas would have to undergo a compulsory two-week quarantine at designated quarantine centres around the country.[221]

On 5 April 2020, the Johor Immigration Department announced that Malaysians with Singaporean work permits would be required to take swab tests in Singaporean clinics and hospitals to show that they are free of the coronavirus in order to return to Johor.[222]

On 18 April, the United States Embassy in Kuala Lumpur advised US nationals in Malaysia wishing to return home to make commercial arrangements as soon as possible unless they had made plans to remain in Malaysia. The US Embassy also clarified that the United States Government was not planning to charter flights to evacuate its citizens.[223]

On 27 June, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong agreed that their governments would collaborate to establish a Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) allowing residents from both nations who hold long-term immigration passes for business and work purposes in the other country to periodically return to their home countries for short-term home leave.[224]

On 14 July, Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan announced that cross-border travel and traffic between the two countries will resume on 10 August 2020 under two schemes: the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA). The Reciprocal Green Lane will allow essential business and official travel between the two countries while the Periodic Commuting Arrangement will allow Singaporean and Malaysian residents who hold long-term immigration business and work passes to enter for work purposes.[225][226]

On 23 July, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that all travellers entering Malaysia would have to undergo mandatory quarantine at hotels and quarantine centres commencing 24 July.[227] On 30 July, Immigration Department director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee warned that foreigners refusing to pay the mandatory quarantine costs of RM 4,700 would have their long-term social visa passes revoked. Malaysians only have to pay half the quarantine cost.[228]

On 13 December, the Director General of Health Noor Hisham announced that the Health Ministry has reduced the quarantine period from two weeks to 10 days for all travellers and close contacts of Covid-19 positive patients.[229]

On 30 January 2021, the Singaporean Government announced that it would suspend its reciprocal "travel bubble" agreement with Malaysia in response to a spike of cases worldwide and the emergence of new variants.[230]

On 23 March, the Singaporean and Malaysian Foreign Ministers Vivian Balakrishnan and Hishamuddin Hussein announced that the two governments plan to recognise each others' COVID-19 vaccine certificates with the goal of restoring cross-border travel in the near future.[231]

Economic impact[edit]

I think it's very contained right now and there's ... no cause for panic at all, but we cannot be complacent about this and we'll continue to be on serious alert.

—Malaysia Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad during conversation with CNBC on the situation of the outbreak in Malaysia, 19 February 2020.[232]

The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the Malaysian economy. By late January 2020, the Malaysian Bursa Malaysia stock market had tumbled as investors sold their stocks in response to the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic.[233] By February 2021, the country's gross domestic product (GDP) had shrunk 3.4% in the fourth quarter from last year. In addition, the Malaysian economy contracted contracted 5.6% for all of 2020, its worst performance since the 1998 Asian Financial Crisis.[234]

Numerous sectors including the entertainment, retail, hospitality, and tourism sectors were affected by various lockdown and social distancing restrictions in response to outbreaks of COVID-19 throughout 2020 and 2021.[235][236][237] In addition, panic buying created a shortage of commodities such as surgical masks and hand sanitisers.[238][239] In response, the Government banned the export of facemasks and took steps to import more facemasks.[240]

The pandemic also drew attention to workplace safety and the exploitation of migrant workers working in Malaysian industries. In response to the emerge of COVID-19 clusters among migrant workers, the Malaysian Government was forced to take steps to improve their welfare and take action against "errant" employers.[241][242] By 12 March 2021, 608,093 foreign workers had been screened for COVID-19, with 9,653 testing positive.[243]

Social impact[edit]

The COVID-19 pandemic led to social distancing restrictions on a wide range of activities including the registration of births, marriages, and deaths, religious gatherings, education, and sporting events.[244][245][246][247][248] All sports and co-curricular activities in schools were postponed with immediate effects as announced by the country Ministry of Education.[249][250] All sports and co-curricular activities in schools were postponed with immediate effects as announced by the country Ministry of Education.[249]

Due to a decline in cases in May and June 2020, most places of worship and schools were allowed to reopen under certain health and social distancing restrictions.[251][252][253] Following a third wave of infections that began in September 2020, most places of worship and schools closed and shifted to online services and classes.[254][255]

Funds and aid on the pandemic[edit]

Exchange of aid between Malaysia and other countries[edit]

January–February aid to China[edit]

Malaysian aid organisation #OpsHarapan aimed to collect 10,000 N95 face masks for its relief efforts to Wuhan.[256] A total of 18 million pieces of medical gloves were donated by Malaysia to assist China in their struggle against the virus.[257][258][259] The Malaysia's state Government of Sabah has raised RM2 million for the "Wuhan Fund" which will be channelled to China as a sign of solidarity with the country during the outbreak.[260] The state government fund's earlier target was RM1 million although the amount received exceeded the initial target when a local philanthropist contributed RM40,000 (US$9,548).[261][262] The fundraising was organised in a joint event called "We Love, We Care" by the Sabah government and Chinese associations.[263] A group of musicians in Malaysia also published a song to support China in their struggle against the virus titled "You Are Not Alone" which was featured in a show in Malaysia's capital of Kuala Lumpur.[264]

March–April aid to Malaysia[edit]

On 23 March 2020, the Malaysian government urged local PPE manufacturers to step their production due to reports that Malaysia's healthcare workers faced a shortage of PPE, resorting to clingwrap and plastic wrap for making DIY protective suits which had to be changed up to 5 times per day.[265] On 16 March 2020, Malaysia's Prime Minister announced that the Chinese ambassador in Malaysia has declared China's willingness to help by supplying face masks and disinfectants.[266][267] The first medical supplies were sent to Sungai Buloh Hospital on 19 March.[268] A further 100,000 face masks were sent by the President of China-Asia Economic Development Association to Malaysia.[269] Along the same day, Chinese Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma further announced that through his foundation, a total of 2 million masks, 150,000 test kits, 20,000 protective suits and 20,000 face shields will be sent to four Southeast Asian countries including Malaysia to aid these nations in their struggle against the virus.[270] A further total of 1,000 face masks, 20,000 medical masks, 100 protective clothing and 100 goggles were contributed by China specifically for the Malaysian police forces.[271]

China's Consulate-General in Kota Kinabalu also has announced that medical aid to be dispatched to Sabah to aid their struggle against the virus and reciprocate the people's of Sabah recent assistance to Mainland China during the outbreak.[272][273] On 25 March, a further total of 5,500 test kits were delivered to Malaysia's Health Ministry by China through its several business entities operating in Malaysia.[274] On 26 March, 20,000 N95 face masks were delivered by China for the Malaysia's state of Sarawak frontline healthcare workers.[275] By 29 March, China delivered a total of 83 boxes of face masks with 2,000 pieces to Malaysia's state of Sabah.[276]

A further 170,000 boxes of face masks, 1,000 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE), 200 pairs of goggles, hand sanitisers and surgical masks were delivered by China to the Sabah state government on 30 March.[277] Another 20,000 surgical masks destined for Sabah's healthcare frontliner workers were delivered in early April.[278] A total of 30,000 face masks were delivered by China through its Consulate General in Kuching specifically for the Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee.[279] Malaysia has asked China's medical experts to share their experience with Malaysia's frontliners, to be accomplished through a videoconference between their doctors on 26 March 2020.[280] On 13 April 2020, Malaysia's health ministry announced that Malaysian hospitals will run out of PPE supplies in two weeks, calling upon NGO's and other parties to donate their PPE supplies.[281]

Aid from other countries[edit]

The Malaysian government was also given aid from the United Arab Emirates, which included 600,000 face masks, 200 ventilators, about 100,000 test kits and 50,000 protective clothings.[282] Neighbouring Singapore had donated 5,000 universal transport medium (UTM) swabs, a critical component in test kits which can test for a case of the virus within minutes.[283] Malaysia also among the seven countries in Taiwan further aid lists following the former request of face masks supplies,[284][285] with Taiwan starting its second round of surgical mask donations to severely hit countries in Latin America and Southeast Asia from 9 April after its donations to Europe and the United States had been fulfilled.[284][286] Taiwanese Tzu Chi foundation also donated essential food and equipment to hospitals and clinics in Malaysia.[287] Turkey-based Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association's (MUSIAD) had distributed free face masks to shoppers at a mall in Malaysia's capital of Kuala Lumpur on 11 April to assist the country's efforts in their fight against the virus.[288] Macdonald's Malaysia, which is part of an American fast-food franchise, donated food to about 50 hospitals in the country, to reach 15,000 healthcare workers, and also to other frontliners such as the police and army personnel.[289]

Local pandemic fund within Malaysia[edit]

Following the severely strained healthcare system due to the increasing number of infections by the virus, Mercy Malaysia launched the "Covid-19 Pandemic Fund" to supporting medical services and the essential needs of marginalised groups within the country.[290] Various Malaysian crowdfunding platforms joined hands in raising money to supply frontline health workers with critical protective equipment and supplies.[291] The Malaysian Red Crescent Society also launched the #responsMALAYSIA (Malaysia's Response) initiative to support frontliners.[292]

Various Malaysian states have launched their own stimulus packages and announced immediate financial aid in the form of rental waivers and deferment of student loan repayments to help their citizens to cope throughout the virus outbreak with the federal government of Malaysia also announced it will disburse a total of RM130 million equally among Malaysia's 13 states to help small traders, the infected victims and front-line staff especially those in the healthcare sector.[293] The country Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, all other ministers and deputy ministers had contribute two months of their salaries to the COVID-19 Fund of Malaysia has been announced by the Prime Minister's Office statement issued on 26 March.[294][295]

In February, Malaysia's home improvement retailer MR DIY distributed a total of 3.5 million free face masks nationwide to help curb the spread of the virus.[296] Further in March, Coway Malaysia donated a total of 100,000 pieces of surgical face masks to PDRM in an effort to help safeguard police personnel who are on the frontlines during the global pandemic.[297]

Various Malaysian banks such as Affin Bank, Agrobank, Alliance Bank, AmBank, Bank Islam Malaysia, Bank Muamalat Malaysia, Bank Rakyat, Bank Simpanan Nasional, CIMB, Hong Leong Bank, HSBC Bank Malaysia, Maybank, MBSB Bank, OCBC Bank, Public Bank Berhad, RHB Bank and SME Bank has offered measures including financial assistance for its customers amidst the virus crisis.[298][299]

Local broadcasting and telecommunications companies aid[edit]

To keep the Malaysian public entertained during the movement control order period, both Malaysia's pay television and internet services of Unifi offers free access to all Unifi TV channels while its mobile prepaid of Unifi Mobile offers unlimited data.[300][301] Astro also offers free access to all of its paid movie channels through both basic Astro and Astro GO mobile application.[302] Starting from 1 April, all telecommunication companies in the country have been instructed by the government to provide free internet data usage to their respective customers throughout the movement control order period has been published in the website of Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).[303][304] The MCMC has announced that Malaysia's mobile telecommunication companies of Celcom, Digi, Maxis and U Mobile will be offering its prepaid and postpaid customers free 1GB of high-speed data, which is to be used daily between 8 am to 6 pm.[305]

Controversies[edit]

Failure to contain the Tabligh cluster amidst a political crisis[edit]

Following significant increases in COVID-19 cases in the country originating from the Tablighi Jamaat gathering at "Masjid Jamek Sri Petaling" in Kuala Lumpur, attention has been directed at the failure of the leadership of the country preventing such large gatherings from being held and containing the spread of the cluster case.[52][306]

Until 24 February, Malaysia was under a Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, which Ministry of Health under Dzulkefly Ahmad had collaborated with Director-General of Health Noor Hisham Abdullah to prepare for the intake of COVID-19 patients, and had overseen the first month of the outbreak since 25 January with low volumes of cases, primarily imported.[307] The Tabligh gathering, held from 27 February to 1 March, occurred within a week after the start of a major political crisis, which saw the collapse of the PH government on 24 February as a result of the defection of the Malaysian United Indigenous Party (PPBM) from the PH coalition, and an absence of a government until the formation of an unelected Perikatan Nasional (PN) government comprising a coalition of Opposition parties on 29 February. The Health Ministry would not have a minister for over two weeks until the appointment of Adham Baba on 10 March, just as spikes in cases began to be reported.[307]

Adham would later use the Tabligh cluster incident to attack the previous PH government. In a 18 April 2020 livestreamed video conference call with Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, President of United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) (a major component party in the PN government), Adham would accuse PH of failing to prevent the spread of the Tabligh cluster despite the absence of a functional government during the period, while erroneously referring to the gathering as having taken place for longer, between 27 February and 3 March, and claiming to have attended a World Health Organization (WHO) conference call with "500 countries"[307][308] (which Adham later clarified to refer to "500 participants from all around the world").[309] Responding to Adham's accusation, Dzulkefly would rebuke Adham's politicisation of the health crisis, claimed that preparations have been made since December 2019, and suggested that prior knowledge of the gathering would more likely be known to the Minister of Home Affairs of the previous PH government, Muhyiddin Yassin, who at the time of the political crisis spearheaded a defection of PPBM from PH and has subsequently been appointed as the current Prime Minister for the PN government.[308]

Insufficient facemasks and pricing[edit]

Despite the country having four manufacturers of face masks with higher quality and also expensive price, minimal support was given by the government to these manufacturers to sustain their operations.[310] Most of the masks produced by Malaysia were exported to high-income developed countries with little being supplied to the country's own healthcare institutions whereas 90% of face masks for these sectors and Malaysian markets originated from Mainland China, Taiwan, South Korea, India and Thailand.[310] With the countries local manufacturers struggling to fulfil the increasing overseas demands and with difficulties securing raw materials from China due to the outbreak, they were forced to seek materials from Europe which subsequently raised the price of masks.[310] On 13 April, the Ministry of Health warned that supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) were running low with only 2 weeks of stocks left.[311]

Advice from the Health Ministry[edit]

During a televised interview on Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM)'s Bicara Naratif on 19 March 2020, Health Minister Adham Baba advised the public that drinking warm water will help prevent COVID-19 infection as the virus will be flushed down to the stomach and the digestive acids will kill any virus. His remarks went viral on social media, with many netizens questioning his claim. Dr. Nur Amalina Che Bakri had criticised Adham, stating that there is no research evidence that stomach acid can kill the virus.[312] Similarly, Director-General of Health Noor Hisham Abdullah disputes Adham's statement, commenting that the Health Ministry's approach for patient treatment and management is always based on evidence.[313] The remedy is thought to have originated as a commonly circulated social media post, and has been widely debunked by health experts, including the WHO, which has stated that while staying hydrated by drinking water is important for overall health, it does not prevent coronavirus infection.[314]

Advice from the Women Ministry[edit]

On 31 March, in a campaign to avoid domestic conflict during the Movement Control Order period, the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development released online posters advising women to dress up and wear make-up while working from home, refrain from sarcasm while asking for help with household chores, avoid nagging and attempt to inject humour by mimicking Doraemon's voice.[315] The posters attracted widespread ridicule and were criticised for being sexist, stereotyping women and insinuating that women are responsible for domestic conflict.[316][317] In response, the Ministry took down the posters and apologised in a statement for "tips that were inappropriate and touched on the sensitivities of certain groups".[318]

Double standards in treatment of MCO violators[edit]

In an 26 April 2020 report, Human Rights Watch criticised the Malaysian authorities for imprisoning people for violating the country's movement control order, putting their lives at a relatively greater risk of being infected by the virus. More than 15,000 people have already been arrested for going against the orders on 18 March 2020.[319]

On 22 August 2020, the Ministry of Health issued a statement stating that Khairuddin Aman Razali, minister of plantation and commodity industries had been compounded RM1,000 on 7 August 2020 after they found him violating the quarantine rules. The Kuala Nerus Member of Parliament is said to have paid the fine and he has also apologized and even promised to contribute the minister's salary from May to August to the Covid-19 fund. This is after four days of Seputeh Member of Parliament, Teresa Kok raising the matter in the Dewan Rakyat. However, the Director General of Health Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah at the time told the media that Khairuddin's case is still being investigated by the police. After about two months of investigation, the situation changed again when Bukit Aman announced that the Attorney-General's Chambers had decided not to take action against the minister, saying Khairuddin had not been given form 14B to undergo his quarantine on July 7.

On 31 October 2020, Malaysiakini, a Malaysian online news portal, conducted an investigation to acquire answers from the Ministry of Health on what happened in the case, as the MOH had previously confirmed that Khairuddin had violated quarantine and imposed a compound on the offense. A question was put to Dr Noor Hisham, why the MOH issued a compound against Khairuddin and whether the compound would be canceled because the Attorney-General's Chambers found no offense committed. However, he declined to comment on the matter. "Under Act 342, the MOH has delegated enforcement powers to the police and the Attorney General. The case has been investigated by the police and the attorney general so I do not want further comment on the investigation," he said at a press conference in Putrajaya on that day. Noor Hisham refers to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988. He also did not answer questions if the ministry was conducting an internal investigation into the failure to issue quarantine orders to Khairuddin upon his arrival.[320]

Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Regulations (Measures in Local Infected Areas) (No. 7) 2020, including allocating those returning from abroad for mandatory quarantine for 14 days. All returning residents must also undergo a Covid-19 swab test and then be sent to a quarantine center to perform a 14-day isolation period. Prior to 24 July 2020, those returning from overseas and being tested negatively still need to undergo quarantine but are allowed to do so at home. They are not allowed to leave the house for 14 days and must be re-tested on the 13th day before their quarantine bracelet can be removed. Khairuddin allegedly did not go through this process. From 24 July onwards, quarantine must be conducted at government-designated centers. The move was reintroduced after many residents violated the quarantine conditions at home. Khairuddin's case received public attention amid complaints of "two-degree treatment" between ordinary people and dignitaries (VIP).[321]

Treatment of foreigners[edit]

According to Human Rights Watch and the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network, over 700 foreign migrant workers and refugees including Rohingya have been detained by Malaysian police during the coronavirus pandemic.[322] In response to the arrests, the United Nations in Malaysia's Head of Communications and Advocacy, Ahmad Hafiz Osman, called for migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless individuals to have access to health services and services without any fear of repercussions.[323] On 11 May, 83 human rights and civil society organisations including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Article 19, and the International Committee of Jurists have called on Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to address online hate speech and violent threats against Rohingya refugees in Malaysia.[324]

On 5 June, National Security Council Sabah director Sharifah Sitti Saleha Habib Yussof confirmed that 5,300 Filipino "illegal immigrants" had been "stranded" at temporary detention centres in Sabah after the Philippines government refused to repatriate them due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines. Between 1 January and 17 March 2020, the Malaysian Government had deported 3,347 illegal immigrants including 2,331 Filipinos, 816 Indonesians, and several Indian, Chinese, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi nationals prior to the implementation of the country's Movement Control Order on 18 March. Since the imposition of a Condition Movement Control Order in May, Sabah authorities have repatriated 322 Indonesian illegal immigrants.[325][326]

On 21 June, Malaysian human rights NGO Aliran raised concerns about the living and working conditions of foreign migrant workers in Malaysia, many of whom had contracted COVID-19. Aliran also criticised "inflammatory" media coverage for fueling xenophobia and hostility against migrant workers.[327]

On 25 June, the Kuala Lumpur City Hall curtailed refugees' access to the city's wholesale market, only allowing them entry if they possessed valid permits and were accompanied by Malaysians. The City Hall's decision also barred entry by refugees carrying cards issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. This ruling was criticised by Yemen Refugee Union representative Dr Mohammed Al Radhi and Alliance of Chin Refugees coordinator James Bawi Thang Bik as discriminatory and inhumane towards refugees.[328]

On 27 June, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin issued a statement that Malaysia could not take any more Rohingya refugees due to a struggling economy and dwindling resources. Malaysia does not recognise their refugee status and has turned away boats and detained hundreds of Rohingya refugees. Muhyiddin also urged the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to speed up the resettlement of Rohingya refugees in third party countries. [329][330]

In early July 2020, an Al Jazeera documentary titled "Locked Up in Malaysia's Lockdown" alleged that illegal migrants and foreign workers had been mistreated by the Malaysian authorities and subject to racism during the country's lockdown. The Malaysian Government criticised the documentary as "misleading" and "inaccurate", with Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob demanding an apology from the news network. The Royal Malaysian Police have launched an investigation into the documentary while the Immigration Department of Malaysia have sought to question a Bangladeshi migrant interviewed in the documentary.[331][332][333] In response, several civil society organisations including the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) issued a statement calling on the Malaysian Government to cease intimidatory measures against media and prevent incitement to discrimination, hostility, and violence against migrant workers.[334] The Bangladeshi migrant, who was identified as Mohammad Rayhan Kaybir was subsequently deported to Bangladesh on 22 August.[335]

On 13 August, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that foreigners entering Malaysia would have to pay quarantine charges and COVID-19 detection tests upon entering the country.[336]

In January 2021, 50 former and current health workers urged Prime Minister Muhyiddin to give priority to immunising migrant workers and refugees, whom they described as the "silent epicentres of COVID-19 outbreaks."[337]

In late February 2021, the Immigration Department was criticised by Amnesty International and Asylum Access for deporting 1,086 Myanmar nationals despite an interim ruling by the Kuala Lumpur High Court suspending the removal of some 1,200 people. The 1,086 Myanmar nationals were repatriated on three Myanmar Navy ships. This deportation came amidst human rights concerns following the 2021 Myanmar coup d'état.[338][339]

In early June 2021, the Australian public broadcaster ABC News reported that Malaysian immigration authorities would be rounding up illegal immigrants as part of the country's "total lockdown."[340]

Allegations of queue jumping and preferential treatment for vaccination[edit]

Since the start of the country's vaccination program in 24 February 2021, concerns were raised on social media of government officials in lower positions and members of higher society flouting the government's planned vaccination timetable by entering priority queues for COVID-19 vaccines.[341] The earliest allegation emerged on 25 February, when rumours from Serdang Hospital suggested that proposals were made to prioritise senior hospital administrators and influencers for vaccination; the Health Ministry dismissed the rumour, clarifying that the "influencers" referred to influential clinical department heads targeted to inspire front-line workers in respectable departments to seek inoculation.[342][343] By March 1, further allegations were raised of senior district officials from Penang and approximately 200 state officials from the Kelantan State Executive Council seeking vaccine reservations ahead of health workers, which Kelantan State Exco for Local Government, Housing and Health Izani Husin denied.[342] In response to the string of allegations, Khairy Jamaluddin reported that some ineligible officials were found to be on the priority list due to unclear guidelines and were subsequently removed, inviting whistleblowers to report further occurrences of line cutting.[341]

On 16 April 2021, citing anonymous sources connected to the government, an Asia Sentinel article on Malaysia's failing response of its COVID-19 outbreak alleged that Sultan Abdullah, the current Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and his entourage that included Hishammuddin Hussein and Idris Haron, flew to the United Arab Emirates in January to be inoculated with Sinopharm's BBIBP-CorV vaccines, which has not been approved in Malaysia and would be illegal to use. The article would add that the Sultan was given 2,000 additional Sinopharm doses to take to Malaysia, where the vaccine was distributed among the Sultan's family by two physicians, Zulkarnain Ishmail and Hanafiah Harounrashid, as well as the Sultan's business partners and friends; the remainder of the vaccines were offered to Muhyiddin and the remaining ministers, but were declined as they waited to receive the Pfizer vaccines.[344] Adham Baba denied the allegations, explaining an unapproved vaccine must first be assessed by the Health Ministry's National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency before its use is permitted, and accused the Asia Sentinel of slandering the country's image.[345][346] Exacerbated by the slow pace of the vaccination program and a later deleted Instagram post by Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah suggesting she had received both her vaccine doses early, the Asia Sentinel publication led to condemnation of the government and royalty by Malaysian netizens; by 18 April, #KerajaanGagal (failed government) and #Agong emerged as top-trending Twitter hashtags in Malaysia.[347]

Criticism of overall pandemic management efforts[edit]

In January 2021, 50 current and former senior healthcare officials submitted a letter to Prime Minister Muhyiddin criticising the failure of the Movement Control Orders and other health interventions to reduce the spread of infections, which had created a strain on intensive care units at hospitals. These officials advocated the immediate formation of a national COVID-19 taskforce, ramp up testing, reduce the strain on the healthcare system by requiring people to self-isolate at home, expedite approval of Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines, and to give priority to immunising migrant workers and refugees.[337]

Statistics[edit]

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