by S BIRRUNTHA/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI
THE Health Ministry (MoH) confirmed that a total of 172 new Covid-19 cases were recorded as of noon yesterday, bringing the total to 1,796 cases nationwide.
MoH DG Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (picture) said out of the 172 new cases reported, a total of 71 cases were linked to the tabligh event cluster in Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur (KL).
“The remaining 101 cases are still under investigation and may be related to other clusters.
“To date, 45 cases of Covid-19 are being treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Of these, 34 cases still require respiratory assistance,” he said in a statement yesterday.
There were also four more Covid-19 deaths reported yesterday.
Dr Noor Hisham said the two latest deaths, both in Johor, include case No 1,625 who was a 56-year-old man with chronic illness and case No 1,246, a 68-year-old woman.
The two other deaths were of case No 1,334, a 75-year-old woman with chronic illness and case No 1,251 who was a 66-year-old woman who had contacts with Covid-19 positive cases.
“MoH would like to announce that 16 cases have recovered and discharged yesterday.
“This makes the total number of recovered cases to 199,” Dr Noor Hisham added.
Meanwhile, 73 health personnel had been diagnosed with Covid-19 as of noon yesterday.
Dr Noor Hisham said according to investigations, none of the health personnel cases were contracted through positive Covid-19 cases at the MoH health facilities.
“It was found that 47 of these cases (64.4%) were related to weddings also attended by those attending the tabligh gathering.
“Other causes include travel histories and Covid-19 positive family contacts,” he added.
MoH added that 1,895 health personnel managing Covid-19 patients at MoH health facilities underwent a validation test.
From this, 1,187 health personnel were tested negative, while the remaining 708 are still awaiting results.
Dr Noor Hisham also requested all health and frontliners to inform their respective head of department if they were directly involved or had contact with the attendees of the Sri Petaling tabligh gathering or the weddings on March 6 and 7 in Bangi and Putrajaya respectively.
Additionally, he said most of the hospital staff infected with Covid-19 are from the Teluk Intan Hospital, Perak, which recorded 37 people.
The rest are from the Putrajaya Hospital, Raja Perempuan Zainab Hospital in Kelantan, Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang and Selayang Hospital, both in Selangor.
Also speaking at a press conference yesterday, Dr Noor Hisham said Covid-19 cases would increase to 6,000 by mid-April as forecasted by JPMorgan.
“However, through early detection and the extension of the Movement Control Order, we are hoping to reduce the cases and prevent it from reaching 6,000,” he added.
As of yesterday, Selangor recorded the highest cases of Covid 19 at 435, followed by KL (270) and Johor (196).