World News

Malaysia to place COVID-19 restrictions in some parts of biggest palm oil state Sabah

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia on Monday said it will impose strict movement restrictions in four districts in its largest palm oil producing state Sabah after reporting more than 1,000 coronavirus infections there in September.

Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said as part of efforts to contain the outbreak, non-essential businesses in Lahad Datu, Tawau, Kunak and Semporna district will be required to shut down starting Tuesday for a period of 14 days.

The partial lockdown comes amid a recent surge of coronavirus infections in Malaysia and concerns that a state-wide election that concluded on Saturday will exacerbate the outbreak.

Sabah accounts for 25% of the crude palm oil produced in the world’s second largest exporter.

Malaysia has reported a total of 9,835 infections, including 134 deaths, as of Sunday.

Reporting by Mei Mei Chu; Editing by Toby Chopra