KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia reported 1,755 new COVID-19 cases on Friday (Nov 6), the biggest daily rise since the start of the pandemic, taking the country’s tally to 38,189 infections.
There were also two more fatalities, raising the COVID-19 death toll in the country to 279.
Sabah accounted for a majority of the new cases, with 1,199 new infections. Selangor reported 164 new cases while Kuala Lumpur recorded 18.
Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said 83 patients are currently in the intensive care unit, of whom 32 require respiratory assistance.
The government on Friday unveiled its 2021 budget, mainly aimed at spurring domestic economic activity, which has been badly hit by the pandemic.
In his budget speech, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the government will propose to raise the ceiling of the COVID-19 Fund by RM20 billion to RM65 billion.
The main purpose is to fund aid packages and the needs of frontliners and the procurement of vaccines, he added.
A total of RM1 billion will be allocated next year to fight the third wave of the pandemic, the minister said. This will finance the purchase of test kits, personal protection equipment as well as hand sanitiser for medical frontliners, among other things.
The government also expects the purchase of COVID-19 vaccine to exceed RM3 billion.
“The war is not over until and unless an affordable and accessible vaccine is available. The government is committed to obtaining COVID-19 vaccines, among which through the participation of the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access or COVAX,” Tengku Zafrul said.
The Malaysian government also announced that it will provide a RM500 one-off payment to about 100,000 health ministry frontliners as a mark of appreciation.