PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Malaysia reported 354 new Covid-19 infections on Friday (Oct 9), the third consecutive day of lower daily figures after hitting a record high on Tuesday.
New cases were logged at 375 on Thursday and 489 on Wednesday, after the record 691 cases reached on Tuesday caused by a surge of infections in Sabah and Kedah.
Six new fatalities were reported on Friday, raising the Covid-19 death toll to 152.
The Health Ministry’s director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said 274 of the cases on Friday were detected in Sabah, while the second highest state was Selangor with 24 cases.
Tan Sri Noor Hisham said the continued increase in Sabah’s positive cases was due to his ministry’s active health screening at seven districts in the state.
Kedah and Sarawak recorded 10 new cases each.
Dr Noor Hisham said the significant drop in cases for Kedah was aided by the ministry’s success in controlling a cluster at a prison in Alor Setar, the state capital.
There were two imported cases among the 354, from India and Oman, while the rest were local transmissions.
Malaysia on Friday also discharged 188 patients, which means the total of recoveries stood at 10,707, or 72.7 per cent of the cumulative total of 14,722.
The number of active cases in the country has gone up to 3,863 cases due to the recent spike.
There are currently 68 people being treated at intensive care units, with 25 of them requiring ventilator support.
Dr Noor Hisham said all the six deaths were logged in Sabah, with the dead aged between 54 and 68.
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Friday that most clusters in Kedah including the Sivagangga, Muda and Sanglang clusters did not record any new cases.
“Only the Bah Sintok and Tembok clusters recorded new cases, but it is still under control. This shows that measures undertaken by various agencies to curb the spread of the virus in Kedah are effective,” he said in a Facebook post after chairing the National Security Council special meeting on Covid-19 management.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin, who chaired the meeting via video conferencing from his home, said the meeting also focused on the situation in Sabah.
“As cases in Sabah showed an increase, we have agreed that the Education Ministry should consider the need to close the schools in the state.
“The Senior Minister (Education) will make an announcement on this matter,” he said.
The capacity of hospitals in Sabah to treat Covid-19 patients was also discussed, he added.
PM Muhyiddin also said that he has instructed the Immigration Department to make the management of illegal immigrants in Sabah a priority, as their entry to the state is among the reasons for the spike in cases.
“This include increasing the capacity of Immigration detention depots to place undocumented immigrants and to ensure they are not exposed to the risk of being infected with Covid-19,” he said.
About the spike in new cases in Selangor and the federal territory of Kuala Lumpur, the Premier said: “We agreed that the Education Ministry should issue an order to close schools if any teacher or student is Covid-19 positive, without waiting for the Health Ministry’s risk assessment.”
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