KUALA LUMPUR, July 8 (CNA) - Malaysia reported 8,868 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday (Jul 8), the country’s second highest daily infection count since the start of the pandemic.

More than half of the new infections were in the Klang Valley area with 4,152 in Selangor and 1,133 in the capital Kuala Lumpur. A further 897 cases were found in neighbouring state Negeri Sembilan.

The health ministry will provide more details on Malaysia’s COVID-19 situation on Thursday evening.

Malaysia previously reported a record 9,020 coronavirus cases on May 29, prompting stricter safety measures in certain states before a third nationwide lockdown was imposed on Jun 1.

Despite the extended lockdown, cases have been on the uptrend this week.

The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) on Wednesday withdrew its support for the Perikatan Nasional government led by Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and called for his resignation.

In a late night online press conference held after UMNO's supreme council meeting, UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi criticised the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"UMNO urges Muhyiddin Yasin to withdraw honourably to enable a new prime minister to be appointed for a limited period," he said.

He added that the new prime minister would only focus efforts on the people's welfare throughout the pandemic, handle COVID-19 with an inclusive approach and ensure the vaccination and immunisation process could be sped up.

Many Malaysians have been hard hit by the extended lockdown, with some turning to the “white flag” movement as they seek assistance.

The country’s health system also continues to be overwhelmed by the increasing number of critically ill patients, with many victims also succumbing to the coronavirus before they can seek medical attention.

Health ministry data showed that there were 670 “brought in dead” cases from January to Jul 2.