POLITICAL COVID – NEW CASES DIP TO 3,346 AMID REPORTS OF A ‘TOTAL LOCKDOWN’ IF THERE’S NO IMPROVEMENT AFTER FEB 4 – EVEN AS QUESTION MARKS SWIRL OVER THE RELIABILITY OF MUHYIDDIN REGIME’S DATA

3,346 new Covid-19 cases, 11 deaths

MALAYSIA reported 3,346 new Covid-19 cases and 11 deaths in the past 24 hours, said director-general of health Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The national caseload now stands at 183,801.

He also said there were 4,427 recoveries, bringing the total number of those discharged to 141,446.

There are 41,667 active cases.

A total of 265 patients are being treated in intensive care, with 102 requiring respiratory assistance.

Ex-top official of European trade group criticises leak of purported lockdown

Eurocham had warned its members that Putrajaya was considering shutting down all economic sectors should the Covid-19 infection rate fail to show a drop after February 4. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Nazir Sufari, January 24, 2021.
Eurocham’s former deputy chairman Geoffrey Williams said he was dismayed details of the chamber’s meeting with the International Trade and Industry Ministry last Friday was made public.

“You are under Chatham House rules when you attend such meetings and you don’t then go out and leak such information,” Williams was quoted as saying in the report.

He felt it was not proper for Eurocham chief executive officer Sven Schneider to have breached the confidentiality of a private meeting.

In a letter to its members, Eurocham’s Schneider warned that Putrajaya was considering shutting down all economic sectors should the Covid-19 infection rate fail to show a drop after February 4.

“Should the infection rate not decrease, the Malaysian government will announce a shutdown/strict lockdown immediately after February 4, 2021. This is the current situation we are facing and International Trade and Industry Ministry, is appealing to all companies, foreign and local, to join the effort of reducing infections breaking the chain, to keep the economy open for business,” the letter read.

The letter, a copy of which was sighted by The Malaysian Insight, provides a detailed account of Eurocham Malaysia Schneider’s meeting with ministry officials on Friday.

It was also mentioned that the Health Ministry “has made a clear stand on the matter of a complete shutdown of the economy”.

“With 99 Covid-19 clusters related to manufacturing out of more than 300 in the whole country, MoH believes the manufacturing sector is the main source of infections,” the letter added.

The letter also stated that Miti and Eurocham officials had discussed ways to reduce infection.

A high number of Covid-19 clusters are linked to workplaces. Eight of the 11 new clusters reported yesterday were connected to the office, factory or worksite.

The country also logged a record 4,275 new cases, taking the caseload to 180,455 and active cases to 42,769.

Yesterday, director-general of health Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the spike in workplace clusters is worrying – most of which are in factories and construction sites.

As of Friday, there were 350 new clusters, 225 or 64.3% of which were linked to workplaces.

THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

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