Southeast Asian countries have started moving faster in their implementations of preventive and containment measures as the coronavirus outbreak in the region ensues.
Malaysia to Ramp Up Daily Testing Capacity
Malaysia's University of Technology Mara Medical Specialist Center (PPUiTM) announced on Wednesday that it will start increasing its capacity to 200 coronavirus samples per day from Thursday, BERNAMA reported.
Pathology consultant at the facility Prof. Dr Ariza Adnan noted that the center prepared two shifts to ensure that the goal of carrying out up to 200 samples per day will be achieved. The shifts include science officers, medical laboratory technologists, and lecturers.
As of Tuesday, Malaysia registered at least 3,963 confirmed CoVID-19 cases and at least 63 deaths.
Thailand Steps Up Rules against Violators
In Thailand, a total of 623 people were indicted for violating the government's decree on containing and preventing the CoVID-19 strain from further spreading across the nation.
According to the Bangkok Post, the emergency decree started rolling out, limiting the movement of the Thai people as a means of preventing further infections. However, some people kept up with their usual ways, forcing authorities to hand out punishments.
Prosecutors in Thailand have also called on courts to make sure that violating parties or individuals will be handed down with hefty punishments or fines. People violating the decree can face up to two years behind bars and/or a fine of up to 40,000 baht (approximately $1,218).
As of Tuesday, Thailand has registered at least 2,258 confirmed coronavirus cases and at least 27 deaths.
Jakarta to Implement Large-Scale Restrictions
As part of the Indonesian government's efforts in curbing the rising CoVID-19 cases in the country, Jakarta is set to implement widespread restrictions on social movements, including the closure of schools and some corporate establishments, the ASEAN Briefing reported.
The news came after Indonesia recorded at least 2,738 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Tuesday, and at least 221 deaths. The number of recovered patients, on the other hand, reached 204.
Vietnam Reports 2 More Community-Transmitted Cases
Vietnam on Wednesday confirmed two new coronavirus cases that were transmitted locally, the Vietnam Express reported.
The government has since released more details about the recent activities of "Patient 250" and "Patient 251" as a means of tracing the close contacts of the said positive cases as well as those who may have come in contact with the patients over the past two weeks.
Vietnam still has not registered any deaths linked to the CoVID-19 strain.
Hun Sen Cancels Khmer New Year
On Wednesday, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced the cancelation of the Khmer New Year festivities amid rising fears about the coronavirus situation in Southeast Asia.
Despite the cancelation of the annual festival, Hun Sen noted that there is still no need for a state of emergency declaration. He said curfews, though, may be called if necessary, depending on the situation in the coming weeks.
Cambodia has so far registered at least 115 coronavirus cases.
Philippines Reports Over 100 New Cases
The Philippines on Wednesday reported 106 new CoVID-19 cases, raising the total to 3,780, and 5 new deaths from the fast-spreading virus, ABS-CBN News reported. The total death toll is now at 182.
The news came shortly after President Rodrigo Duterte said in his second weekly report to Congress that around 10 percent of the PHP18 million cash aid allotted for low-income families has been disbursed.
The northern island of the Philippines has been on lockdown for almost a month, and earlier this week, Duterte announced the extension of the lockdown to April 30.