Malaysia’s worsening COVID-19 outbreak sparks alarm

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A worsening coronavirus outbreak in Malaysia has sparked alarm and is spilling over into neighboring Thailand, which recently discovered a more infectious variant in its south believed to have come from Malaysia. Malaysia has experienced a rapid climb in new cases since April that has strained its hospitals and prompted the government to impose a near lockdown until June 7. But infections have not abated, with a record 7,289 new cases reported Tuesday, pushing the country’s tally to more than 525,000 _ a five-fold increase since the start of the year. Deaths have spiked to more than 2,300. The government has resisted calls for a full lockdown because of fears it would cause an economic catastrophe.