The Kencana cluster was detected in Hulu Langat, Petaling, Klang, Gombak, Cheras, Johor Baru, Batu Pahat and Pontian
by S BIRRUNTHA / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
ONE new Covid-19 cluster was identified yesterday, which spanned across eight districts in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur (KL) and Johor.
Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the cluster, known as the Kencana cluster, was detected in Hulu Langat, Petaling, Klang and Gombak in Selangor, Cheras in KL, and Johor Baru, Batu Pahat, and Pontian in Johor.
“The index case for this cluster (13,805th case) tested positive for Covid-19 from a symptomatic screening on Oct 7 and was admitted to the Sungai Buloh Hospital.
“Close contact screenings identified 16 more positive cases,” he said in his Covid-19 press conference yesterday.
Dr Noor Hisham added that to date, 23 individuals linked to this cluster have been screened, with two of them still awaiting results.
As of yesterday, 52 districts were reported to be in yellow zones and 19 districts were in red zones throughout Peninsular Malaysia.
Dr Noor Hisham said various actions are being taken by the Health Ministry (MoH) to control the spike of new cases in the existing clusters.
The country recorded 660 new cases yesterday, involving 654 local transmissions and six imported cases.
Of the local cases, 429 were recorded in Sabah and 113 cases were from Kedah, in which almost all were detected from active clusters in both states.
Selangor recorded 68 cases, with most cases detected in existing clusters and from close contact screenings.
The remaining local cases were detected in Penang, Labuan, KL, Johor, Sarawak, Perak, Melaka and Negri Sembilan.
The increase in new cases yesterday brought the country’s overall total to 17,540.
There are now 5,768 active cases that are being treated at health facilities nationwide.
Among the active cases yesterday, 108 were placed in the intensive care unit, with 35 of them requiring respiratory aid.
Meanwhile, 233 patients were discharged yesterday, increasing the total recovered cases in the country to 11,605, which equals 66.2% of the total cases.
There were four fatalities in Sabah yesterday, involving three Malaysians between the ages of 73 and 80, and a 47-year-old foreign national.
This brought the country’s death tally to 167.
On another note, Dr Noor Hisham explained that former Covid-19 patients, who experience antibody deterioration after three months of recovery, have a higher risk of re-infection.
He said preliminary research conducted by his ministry on a cluster in Sungai Lui found that most individuals who were once infected with Covid-19 showed deteriorating antibodies after eight weeks.
“Due to that, we want more previously infected Covid-19 patients to come forward to participate in our Covid-19 immunity research to see if their antibodies remain or deteriorate after receiving treatment.
“If the antibodies deteriorate within three months after they recover, the patient may have a higher chance of re-infection,” he added.
Previously, Dr Noor Hisham urged Malaysians who had recovered from Covid-19 to volunteer for Malaysia’s study on immunity.
He noted that the research is important to find out the levels of neutralising antibody (immunity) in the blood that can block the Covid-19 virus from infecting patients that had been infected before.
The study, which is being conducted from August 2020 to July 2022, has been approved by the MoH’s Medical Research, as well as the Ethics Committee.