KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia will be placed under a total lockdown as daily COVID-19 cases climbed to more than 8,000, the government announced on Friday.
In the first phase of the lockdown, effected from June 1 to June 14, all social and economic sectors will not be allowed to operate except for essential economic services, the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.
"With the recent dramatic increase in daily cases showing an upward trend, the capacity of hospitals around the country to treat COVID-19 patients is increasingly limited," said the statement.
"The government will ensure the country's public health system does not collapse and various support and assistance will be given to the health ministry to increase hospital capacity in the whole country," it said.
The government also said it would work to increase the rate of vaccination and would announce an aid package to help the people and economic sectors affected by the lockdown.
If the daily cases show a downward trend after 14 days, the country would enter a four-week second phase of the lockdown, during which some economic activities will be allowed to operate.
Malaysia has seen a surge in new COVID-19 infections in recent weeks, with a record high of 8,290 reported on Friday, bringing the national total of 549,514.
Another 61 deaths were reported, taking the death toll to 2,552.
The country's health care system is under strain with 72,823 active cases being treated, of which 808 are in intensive care and 403 of those are in need of assisted breathing.