170 new cases, 1 death from Sulawesi tabligh event

DG says 80 cases discharged yesterday, while 92 positive cases of Covid-19 are being treated in the ICU and of these, 50 need respiratory assistance

by S BIRRUNTHA/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

THE Health Ministry (MoH) recorded 170 new Covid-19 cases in the country yesterday, with one death of a man who had attended a tabligh gathering in Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Health DG Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said this brings the total number of positive Covid-19 cases in Malaysia to 3,963 and the death toll to 63.

“The latest Covid-19 death was a Malaysian male, aged 71, with a history of diabetes and high blood pressure.

“He attended a religious gathering in Sulawesi and was admitted to Hospital Enche’ Besar Hajjah Khalsom in Johor,” he said in his daily press briefing yesterday.

Dr Noor Hisham also said to date, 92 positive cases of Covid-19 are being treated in the intensive care unit and of these, 50 patients need respiratory assistance.

He added that 80 cases have recovered and were discharged yesterday.

“This makes the cumulative number of recovered cases and have been discharged from wards to 1,321,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham confirmed that sporadic transmissions of the Covid-19 disease have been recently detected in the country.

He said 69 sporadic cases were identified without any clear source of infection and were unrelated to any of the identified major clusters.

However, he emphasised that the number was very small compared to the total confirmed infections recorded yesterday.

To date, the four largest clusters identified in the country are from the tabligh gathering in Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur (KL); an individual who had travelled to Italy; a religious gathering in Kuching, Sarawak; as well as a wedding ceremony in Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor.

Additionally, Dr Noor Hisham urged Malaysians who are working in Singapore to stay in the country for two more weeks.

“MoH is still in talks with the Singapore government to find the best solution. However, for those who still want to go home must undergo health screening and isolate themselves,” he added.

Additionally, Dr Noor Hisham also said the National Disaster Management Agency had identified a few hotels, including high-end hotels that will double up as quarantine centres.

“Those who can afford to be quarantined in five-star hotels which are identified by the government, would have to foot the bill,” he said.

Also, yesterday, MoH confirmed 15 positive Covid-19 cases at the Selangor Mansion and Malayan Mansion buildings on Jalan Masjid India, KL.

With that, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government had decided to execute the fourth directive of the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) in that area.

“The EMCO involves around 6,000 residents in 365 residential and commercial units in the buildings. This order takes effect from yesterday until all residents are screened,” he said.

Separately, Dr Noor Hisham has also advised patients with chronic conditions to take advantage of the MoH’s value-added services for receiving medication during the MCO period.

He said patients can receive their supply by post or via pharmacy drive-thru services, Locker4U, call or SMS-and-grab methods.

“To lighten the burden of patients, from April 6 to June 30, the cost of medication delivered by post, estimated to be RM638,000, will be borne by the MoH,” he said in a Facebook post.

As of yesterday, Selangor remained as the state with the highest number of Covid-19 infections with 1,020 cases, followed by KL (671) and Johor (478) cases.