by S BIRRUNTHA/ pic by TMR FILE
THE comeback of Covid-19 cases is worrying, as the country continues to report new clusters, especially among local transmissions.
Health DG Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (picture) said the number of active cases has decreased to 63 cases on July 9, but began to increase to more than 100 cases in less than two weeks on July 19.
He added that as of yesterday, there are a total of 19 active clusters in the country, in which 13 are new ones announced in the last 10 days.
“Three among the 13 clusters are related to local transmissions from import cases, namely the clusters of Novgorod, Shirala and Pitakwa, which are under investigation.
“The Jupiter cluster is not causing any local transmission as it is an isolated cluster in a ship,” he said in his Covid-19 press conference yesterday.
Dr Noor Hisham said the Ministry of Health (MoH) welcomes the government’s decision to impose the 14-day mandatory quarantine for everyone returning from abroad at quarantine centres effective this Friday.
He hoped the decision would prevent further clusters. The DG also stressed that the main challenge of mandatory self-quarantine is the lack of compliance and self-discipline among some members of the public.
Dr Noor Hisham added that in some cases, those quarantined at home were still interacting closely with their family members and thus, opening the possibility of unintentional infection.
“There are also some people who, despite being quarantined at home, will sometimes go out for social events, such as for prayers or to the restaurants for meals,” he added.
Dr Noor Hisham said it should also be noted that there are nine other clusters with infections related to local cases in the country, which are not from import cases.
“This shows that the community is starting to become complacent and negligent, where they are not practising the standard operating procedures set by the government,” he said.
As of yesterday, the country recorded 15 new Covid-19 positive cases involving 11 local transmissions and four import cases.
The ministry had also detected a new cluster known as “Sentosa” at a hospital in Kuching, Sarawak, yesterday, after five individuals tested positive for Covid-19.
The first case was a healthcare worker who experienced breathing difficulties on July 13 before testing positive six days later.
“As of noon yesterday, 61 individuals from the cluster have been tested, with five of them tested positive, while the remaining tested negative,” Dr Noor Hisham said.
The increase in new cases yesterday brought the country’s overall total to 8,815.
There are now 130 active Covid-19 cases that are being treated at health facilities nationwide. Among the active cases yesterday, four were placed in the intensive care unit, with one case under ventilator support.
Seven patients had been discharged yesterday, increasing the total recovered cases in the country to 8,562, which equals to 97.1%.
No new deaths have been recorded yesterday as the country’s death tally remains at 123.