Covid-19: Record high 871 new cases, 7 deaths

The highest number of cases is in Sabah with 702, followed by Selangor (77), Pulau Pinang (45), Perak (10), Kedah (9) and KL (7)


MALAYSIA reported record daily increase in Covid-19 cases for the second consecutive day yesterday with 871 new infections, bringing the total tally to 20,498 confirmed cases.

The newly reported positive cases comprised 866 local transmissions and five imported cases, according to Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The highest number of cases was in Sabah with 702, followed by Selangor (77), Pulau Pinang (45), Perak (10), Kedah (9), Kuala Lumpur (KL) (7), Sarawak (5), Negri Sembilan (3), Terengganu (2), Johor and Melaka with one each.

“This has increased the number of positive cases in Malaysia to 20,498 cases, with 86 currently undergoing treatment in the intensive care unit, of which 28 requiring ventilators,” he told reporters in Putrajaya yesterday.

The five imported cases involved three Malaysians and two non-nationals.

The overall death toll increased to 187 with seven new deaths recorded. Four had a history of high blood pressure, while three had no record of chronic illness.

The country also reported 701 recoveries, pushing the recovery count to 13,262 or 64.7% of total cases. This leaves Malaysia with 7,049 active cases.

Health officials also reported four new clusters namely, the Bah Layangan cluster in Labuan, the Alma cluster in Pulau Pinang, the Auto cluster in Selangor and Negri Sembilan, and the Kepayan Prison cluster in Sabah.

The government has so far tested a total of 251,030 individuals in Sabah for Covid-19. To date, the positive rate in Sabah is 2.96%, Dr Noor Hisham said.

Meanwhile, he added that while Malaysia has managed to decrease the number of transmissions down to zero, the R-naught (R0) value, which indicates the ability of one patient to infect others, increased to 1.7 as of September 2020.

Dr Noor Hisham said this followed the pattern whereby there was an uptrend in Kedah and Sabah at the time.

“The high R0 values in these two states have had a significant impact against the R0 value of the country.

“The value of R0 is then seen as unstable and remained above 1.0,” he said.

He added that the third wave of Covid-19 outbreak in Malaysia is definitely more challenging even if the country is considerably more prepared in terms of capacity and public health actions.

“The R0 value at the start of the third wave as of Sept 20, 2020, was 2.2, but within four weeks it has been decreased to 1.5.

“This means that the efforts put in place have managed to avoid any drastic increase of cases, however, with the current number of cases reported, the R0 value is still at 1.5, meaning that cases will continue to increase but not drastically,” he said.

He said to avoid further transmissions, all efforts must be continued and multiplied with the Movement Control Order (MCO) tightened and cooperation from all citizens.

“As mentioned earlier, if the chain of infection can be severed, it will control the transmission and the value of R0 will also drop further low from 1.0 to less than 0.3,” he said.

He added that it has been recognised that although the MCO is effective in reducing infection, the nation’s economy has been heavily impacted.

“To offset this situation, the approach taken by the government is by implementing the Conditional MCO by focusing on some states where there is still movement for the sector economy but subject to compliance with the standard operating procedures.

“It is hoped that this approach will control the transmission of Covid-19 and can also help with the curve, although it may take some time to achieve it,” he said.