Health DG: 140 new cases, Ramadhan bazaars could go on if crowd control SOP followed

The following 2 weeks are important as it will determine whether govt’s action will yield expected results


MALAYSIA recorded six more deaths yesterday, bringing the total number of casualties due to the Covid-19 outbreak to 43 deaths. Meanwhile, there were 58 recovered cases, making the total number of recovered patients to 537.

Of the six casualties, Health Ministry DG Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (picture) said three had a history of hypertension, two with cardiovascular diseases while the last was an Indonesian with no disclosed health history.

“As of yesterday noon, 140 new cases were reported, bringing the total number of positive Covid-19 cases in Malaysia to 2,766.

“To date, a total of 94 cases are being treated in the intensive care unit (ICU), and of these, 60 need breathing assistance,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham added that two weeks into the Movement Control Order (MCO), a trend can be perceived from the number of new cases reported.

“It is found that the number of daily cases continues to increase and sometimes it remains levelled, while the number of recoveries that are discharged increases by the day.

“The data shows the effect from the implementations done by ministry and various agencies within the past one month,” he said.

He added that however, the following two weeks are important as it will determine whether the implementations taken by the government are yielding expected results.

“This is closely tied to the community’s behaviour in compliance with the MCO.

“Statistics also show that there are two age groups with the highest Covid-19 positive cases. There are people aged between 26 and 30 years old, and between the ages of 56 and 60 years old,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham added that most of the positive cases within the younger age group are due to some of them may have returned from studying overseas, or that some of them were infected while going out to stock up items.

“Some may also be because they did not obey the MCO and went out or meet their friends to socialise.”

Separately, Ramadhan bazaars have been a subject of interest lately, with conflicting views on whether they should proceed amid fears of the Covid-19 pandemic as the bazaars attract large crowds.

Dr Noor Hisham however said there should be no problem for Ramadhan bazaars to be held if the standard operating procedure is followed.

“Pasar Tani and the wet markets are still open now where crowds can be avoided, and safe distancing can still be done.

“Given that people follow the guidelines for crowd control, there is a possibility for a Ramadhan bazaar to proceed, as long as precautionary measures are being taken,” he said during the Covid-19 update yesterday.