Lowest number of new Covid-19 cases since MCO

by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK/ pic by TMR FILE

MALAYSIA saw less than 20 new Covid-19 cases for the first time since the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) yesterday, with 16 cases.

This made the current active cases to 1,410 and the cumulative number of cases in the nation to 6,742 (as at press time).

Health DG Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the downtrend shows that the flattening of the epidemic curve is heavily reliant on the public’s health initiative.

“We are now seeing a lot less patients in the hospitals as well as the intensive care unit (ICU), which means that we can now recognise that we have managed to contain the infections.

“We need to emphasise on the public health initiatives as well as prevention methods to maintain this and break any future transmission of Covid-19,” he said at the daily Covid-19 update briefing yesterday.

Out of the 16 cases reported yesterday, nine were foreigners and only three were imported cases, while 13 were made up of local transmissions.

In the active roster of patients, 16 were placed in the ICU and three of them required respiratory aid.

Subsequently, 110 patients recovered and were discharged from their respective hospitals, adding to the cumulative number of recovered patients to 5,223.

Dr Noor Hisham added that currently, the process is to ensure that members of the public continue to comply with the Conditional MCO (CMCO) guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“We urge the public to follow the existing SOPs to further bring the graph down.

“If everyone can follow the guidelines, we can eventually break the chain of infections. This means that the onus is not only on the government to determine policies, but also on each and every individual to carry out their social responsibility,” he said.

Moving forward, he said the Health Ministry is looking into screening old folks’ homes where the populations are vulnerable individuals.

“We hope to get the census soon in order to share the figures of individuals screened and not screened,” he said.

Meanwhile, based on the country’s surveillance for early symptoms and detection of the outbreak, the ministry sampled Influenza-like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) cases as well.

As of the 18th epidemic week, as many as 9,010 samples were collected from the patients, whereas only 81 were confirmed to be positive of Covid-19, amounting to 0.9% of the total cases.

Out of the samples, 14 were confirmed to be positive of ILI, making up 0.94% of the total samples of 1,594, whereas 67 out of the 7,416 SARI samples were found to be positive.

Dr Noor Hisham said overall, there has been a downtrend of Covid-19 cases among SARI patients.

“If compared to the 13th epidemic week, the positive rate stood at 8.7%, whereby 25 positive cases were found out of 288 SARI samples.

“Whereas as of the 18th epidemic week, the positive rate stood at 0.13%, with one case detected out of 772 SARI samples,” he said.