Malaysia has reported its first two deaths from the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday.
The number of confirmed cases reached 673 in the country, reports The Strait Times.
Sarawak state disaster management committee issued a statement the said the first victim was a 60-year-old pastor from the Emmanuel Baptist Church in state capital Kuching died in the Sarawak General Hospital at 11am on Tuesday.
The process of identifying the source of his infection is on. The committee said 193 close contacts of the deceased have been traced and are undergoing home quarantine.
Malaysia reported a 34 year old man who had died at the Hospital Permai in Johor on Tuesday as the second death in the country from the virus. He had attended a mass religious gathering by the Tabligh missionary group held in late February at a mosque in Kuala Lumpur.
More than half of the cases in Malaysia stem from the religious event, which was attended by about 16,000 people, including Singapore and Brunei nationals.
Malaysia has the highest tally of infections in South-east Asia.
The country will implement new measures to limit the movement of its residents in a bid to curb the virus' spread from Wednesday. All schools, universities and businesses nationwide will be shut, and all public gatherings will be banned from Wednesday to March 31.
During the two-week period, citizens will not be allowed to travel overseas, and those returning from abroad will have to undergo a health examination and self-quarantine for 14 days.
Tourists will not be allowed to enter the country during this period. Only the essential services will continue operating, including food stores, banks, pharmacies and transportation.