JAKARTA, Indonesia 

Malaysia on Tuesday issued a 14-day travel ban from the state of Sabah located in the northern Borneo island to other parts of the country due to spike in coronavirus cases, local media reported.

Security Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a statement that exemption will be given to special cases like emergency cases, deaths, essential services, and others, which will require permission from the Health Ministry.

“Those who receive permission must also undergo COVID-19 screening by the Health Ministry as soon as they arrive at the entry points of their destinations,” said Yaakob.

On Monday, the National Security Council announced that Kota Kinabalu, Penampang, and Putatan districts will go under lockdown from Wednesday.

Malaysia has emerged as one of the new hotspots in Southeast Asia for novel coronavirus transmission after Health Ministry authorities recorded the highest daily jump on Tuesday with 691 cases in 24 hours, bringing the total to 13,504.

Health Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said Kedah was the worst-affected state with 397 cases, followed by Sabah with 219 cases.

* Writing by Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo from Anadolu Agency’s Indonesian language services in Jakarta.

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