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Sunday, May 30, 2021

Covid-19: Situation likely to get worse

 Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, however, cautioned that the nationwide Covid-19 situation will get worse whereby an increase by one thousand to two thousand cases a day is not something impossible. -Pic courtesy of MOH

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia logged 6,999 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, a significant drop from the all-time high of 9,020 infections reported yesterday

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, however, cautioned that the nationwide Covid-19 situation will get worse whereby an increase by one thousand to two thousand cases a day is not something impossible.

"The latest national Rt value is 1.16 and the number of cases reported daily is starting to show a more sharp upward trend.

"We have seen a total of 98 cases of daily deaths due to Covid-19 on May 29. This situation is also likely to continue and it is not impossible to increase further," he said in a joint press conference with Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, today.

Dr Noor Hisham shared that the number of beds in the Intensive Care Unit, dedicated Covid-19 hospitals, Covid-19 Quarantine and Treatment Centres is declining and likely to run out.

The health ministry, he said has also warned of possible situations where doctors will have to make difficult choices in prioritising ICU beds for patients with higher recovery potential than patients with lower recovery potential (poor prognosis).

"This is a difficult situation facing us all, and the ministry would like to call on all parties to work together to face it now from government to agencies and the public."

Therefore, he said the ministry welcomes the decision made National Security Council over the total lockdown as detailed by Ismail Sabri, citing that these were among the actions needed to help break the chain of Covid-19 transmission.

"Strict international border and gateway controls are also crucial to ensure the country is protected from the various new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that continue to spread in various countries.

"Restrictions for certain countries were continued, the quarantine period for passengers arriving from abroad was also extended. This quarantine period will be extended to 21 days based on the risk assessment conducted.

"For example, the quarantine period for five high-risk countries such as India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh is for 21 days. Those arriving from abroad will be quarantined at quarantine stations that have been identified by the government."

Dr Noor Hisham said the daily new cases yesterday took the cumulative number of coronavirus infections in the country to 565,533, including 78,017 active cases.

Of the 6,999 cases reported on Sunday, he said 6,995 were local transmissions (6,385 Malaysians and 610 foreigners), while the remaining four were imported cases (three Malaysians and a foreigner).

"Selangor continued to record the highest number of cases at 2,477, followed by Kuala Lumpur (616) and Kelantan (612).

"Sarawak logged 513 cases, followed by Negri Sembilan (468), Johor (433), Kedah (422), Penang (248), Pahang (239), Terengganu (214), Perak (212), Melaka (202), Sabah (190), Labuan (133), Putrajaya (13) and Perlis (seven)."

The ministry, he said also reported 846 patients in the intensive care unit, with 419 intubated.

He said the country's death toll increased to 2,729 with 79 more fatalities reported.

"The number of Covid-19 patients who have recovered and been discharged from hospitals as of noon today was 5,121, bringing the total number of recoveries to 484,787."

He also said 17 new clusters were reported on Sunday, raising the total number of clusters in the country to 2,163, including 635 active clusters.

Meanwhile, he said Covid-19 screening also increased sharply whereby the average daily test (RT-PCR and RTK-Ag) was only 63,925 tests before May 14 compared to the average daily test from May 23 to May 29 which stood at 91,608 tests (an increase by 30.2 per cent).

"The use of the RTK-Ag helps to detect outbreaks rapidly in large numbers in addition to the outsourcing of Covid-19 screening tests to private laboratories."

Dr Noor Hisham said the public should stay at home, frequently wash their hands, must use face masks and double masking are strongly encouraged at public areas, along with face shield at high-risk areas. - NST

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