Malaysia declares COVID-19 emergency state hinh anh 1Malaysia's Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 26, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Malaysia Information Department/Zarith Zulkifli)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) - Malaysia’s government on December 16 declared a state of emergency to stop by-elections in two constituencies scheduled for next month, as the country recorded a spike in coronavirus cases over the past few months.

The nation has seen a leap in cases since September, with the total number of infections exceeding 86,000, including 422 deaths as of December 15.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said in a statement the king had assented to the request to impose an emergency in the Bugaya constituency in Sabah on Borneo, the state that health authorities believe was the epicentre of the country’s third wave of infections, and the Gerik constituency in Perak state.

The government had declared a state of emergency in another constituency in Sabah last month, also to stop a scheduled by-election.

The same day, the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Indonesia increased by 6,725 to 636,154, with the death toll adding by 137 to 19,248, according to its Health Ministry. The coronavirus has spread to all of the country's 34 provinces.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health of the Philippines reported 1,156 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number in the country to 452,988. The death toll climbed to 8,833./.