Malaysia’s King Al-Sultan Abdullah on Tuesday declared a state of emergency across the country to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The emergency will last until Aug. 1 or earlier depending on the state of coronavirus infections, the palace said in a statement.
“Al-Sultan Abdullah is of the opinion that the spread of COVID-19 is at a critical stage and that there is a need to declare a proclamation of emergency,” the palace said.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin requested the emergency as a proactive measure to curb the number of infections, it said.
On Monday, Muhyiddin announced a nationwide travel ban and a 14-day lockdown in the capital Kuala Lumpur and five states, saying the country’s healthcare system was at a breaking point.
The number of new daily infections hit a record high last week, breaching the 3,000 mark for the first time. Total coronavirus cases passed 138,000 on Monday, with 555 deaths.