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Malaysia’s COVID-19 epicenter is ready to enter the second phase of the national recovery plan after hitting an 80% vaccination rate. 

The Klang Valley area, comprising Putrajaya, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, will relax measures such as allowing exams in schools and outdoor non-contact sports when it enters the second phase of recovery, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced today. Roughly 7.5 million people live in that area, which had been reporting upwards of 500,000 infections and more than a hundred deaths since the pandemic started. 

“Once again, I am so proud of everyone involved and this remarkable achievement,” the prime minister wrote online today. 

Malaysia has divided its recovery plan into four phases, with the final phase allowing Malaysians to join religious gatherings, take part in some social activities, dining out, and cross state borders. Further updates on how or when Klang Valley will take a step closer to reopening its economy will be nailed down in a special committee meeting with his cabinet, Ismail said. 

Malaysia’s government has promised to reopen parts of the country progressively depending on whether the respective territory’s seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases is below the threshold, can maintain “moderate” use of its intensive care units, and achieve a full vaccination rate of above 10%.

Areas such as Selangor and Kuala Lumpur are still experiencing a high number of COVID-19 cases amid massive pressure on healthcare systems.

Of the 16 states and federal territories in Malaysia, the Klang Valley, Johor, Kedah and Melaka are still in Phase 1, while Penang, Perak, Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, and Sabah are in Phase 2 of the recovery plan. Perlis and Sarawak are in Phase 3, and Labuan in Phase 4. 

Yesterday, Ismail thanked the public and frontliners on his Facebook saying that a million doses of vaccine has been administered at the World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur. 

“Alhamdulillah, this is due to the collective cooperation and contribution from all to help achieve herd immunity in our country,” he said, adding: “We need to continue this and focus on states that haven’t vaccinated 50% of its adult population. Thank you frontliners and volunteers for the awesome momentum! Keep it up.” 

Other stories: 

Malaysia worst place to be for COVID-19 as delta variant spreads: study

Malaysia’s latest cabinet lineup includes new health minister, no deputy PM

This article, Malaysia’s COVID-19 epicenter ready for next step in recovery: PM Ismail, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company.

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