Malaysia arrested hundreds of people in the last week for violating restrictions aimed at stemming the spread of coronavirus , a senior minister said on Sunday, amid a spike in the number of deaths linked to the outbreak. The death toll rose from 27 to 34 within a 24-hour period, the biggest daily rise so far, while the number of reported cases was up to 2,470, the highest in Southeast Asia. Malaysia has closed schools and non-essential businesses and imposed restrictions on travel and movement until April 14 to try to contain the spread. Defence minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob told reporters 649 people were detained on Saturday, while 73 people have plead guilty to offences such as gathering in groups, obstructing public officials, and breaking through police blockades. This was in addition to 614 people arrested since the movement curbs were imposed on March 18. “Some people gave the excuse that they were just going out to buy food,” Ismail said. “But they were caught outside up to four times a day, to the point at which police recognised their faces … clearly, they were not being genuine.” Those who flout the restriction of movement order can be fined or face up to six months’ jail. The shutdown has caused widespread business disruptions. The world’s biggest glovemaker and condom producer, both based in Malaysia, this week warned of global shortages as demand for their products surged amid the virus outbreak. Malaysia’s economy is already taking a hit as workers and employers alike struggle to cover overheads and worry about job security. For Malaysia’s new leader Muhyiddin, Covid-19 is a deadly litmus test On Friday Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced a second round of stimulus measures to counter the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its hardest-hit residents and businesses, bringing its total support package to 250 billion ringgit (US$57.3 billion). Of this amount, about 100 billion ringgit will be used to help businesses – mostly small and medium enterprises (SMEs) – while a further 128 billion ringgit will be allocated to public welfare. The stimulus amount works out to be about 17 per cent of the country’s GDP and includes measures worth 20 billion ringgit announced last month by the previous government. It dwarfs the measures Malaysia took during the global financial crisis, when the government passed 67 billion ringgit of stimulus. Muhyiddin assured Malaysians that “nobody would be left behind”, and that the money would be used to look after lower-income households as well as help boost the health ministry’s capabilities in battling the coronavirus.