Malaysian PM self-isolates after possible COVID-19 exposure

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin tested negative for COVID-19 on Friday but will spend the next two weeks in self-isolation after attending a meeting involving an official who later tested positive for the disease.

A statement by the Prime Minister’s Office on Friday said that Muhyiddin, who took office in March, “is required to undergo a quarantine at home for 14 days beginning this afternoon.”

The meeting took place on Wednesday, the office stated, without identifying the attendees aside from Muhyiddin.

Malaysia has confirmed 7,137 coronavirus cases and 115 related deaths.

More than 80 per cent of those infected with the coronavirus have recovered.

Over the past two days, 50 cases have been diagnosed among migrants in a detention centre, after several recent round-ups of foreigners alleged to be working illegally.

Citing economic losses and the fall in new cases, the government ended a seven-week lockdown on May 4, though some restrictions have been retained.

The day after the lockdown was imposed on March 18, Muhyiddin’s predecessor as prime minister, 94-year-old Mahathir Mohamad, announced he was self-isolating after posing for photographs with a lawmaker, who subsequently tested positive for COVID-19.

Mahathir tested negative, before resuming his bid to regain office by proposing a no-confidence vote in parliament against Muhyiddin, who was his home affairs minister.

Parliament convened on Monday for the first time since Muhyiddin took office.

The session was limited to a speech by the country’s king, infuriating Mahathir, who said on Thursday that “we are seeing parliament being silenced. Democracy is dead.” (dpa/NAN)

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