No new Covid-19 death, a 1st since MCO

Malaysia also registered the lowest daily number of new Covid-19 cases yesterday

by S BIRRUNTHA/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THERE was no new Covid-19 death yesterday, a first since the Movement Control Order (MCO) came into force. This leaves the death tally stagnant at 89 or 1.6% of total cases.

Malaysia also registered the lowest daily number of new Covid-19 cases yesterday, at 36.

Health DG Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the decrease in the number of daily cases seen lately is the result of proactive and aggressive actions taken over the last two weeks.

“Despite the trend of decreasing Covid-19 infections, we want to remind all Malaysians not to be complacent and comfortable with the effectiveness of fighting Covid-19 which we have achieved in the country so far.

“I would like to remind everyone that we are still fighting the virus and our ‘war’ is certainly not yet over,” he said in his daily press briefing yesterday.

He also stressed that the number of new cases may increase within the next two weeks, given that case detection activities are still ongoing nationwide.

He said this is especially among Malaysians who had just returned from abroad and also among localities involved under the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO).

The number of new cases has been in double digits for the fourth day and it brings the total Covid-19 cases to 5,425 nationwide (at press time).

Dr Noor Hisham said the number of recoveries continues to outpace new infections, with 98 patients discharged yesterday.

“This brings the total number of recoveries to 3,295 or 60% of all cases. “A total of 2,041 patients are still being treated in hospitals, with 45 in the intensive care unit and 28 in need of respiratory assistance,” he added.

With that, Dr Noor Hisham also said Malaysia is hoping to reach a single-digit number of new Covid-19 cases next week, but breaking the chain of infection may take three to six months.

He said the World Health Organisation (WHO) had predicted that Malaysia will still be at “war” with Covid-19 until next year, unless vaccines are found and made available to the public.

“WHO anticipated that we might have to go to war against Covid-19 until next year. The question now is, how do we have to plan and strategise until next year.

“I think what is important today is that we can reduce the number of cases, but not end the infection,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said his ministry will continue to monitor, conduct research and minimise infections such as the influenza-like illnesses and severe acute respiratory infection in the community.

He also stressed that the Health Ministry (MoH) needs to ensure that people are still following public health advisory even when the MCO is lifted, as it may take a long time for the discovery of Covid-19 vaccines.

Dr Noor Hisham also noted that Malaysia is now doing a targeted testing approach at the areas surrounding the Selayang Wholesale Market.

This was after the area being declared a new EMCO zone yesterday, where high-risk foreign workers there can get tested.

“We are learning from our neighbouring country such as Singapore on their handling of the foreign worker cluster. By this, we will be able to control the virality of positive cases among the non-citizen group,” he said.

He also urged other high-risk foreign workers to go to public health clinics to undergo screening tests for Covid-19.