DG: 4-digit cases loom on current infection rate

If infectivity rate remains 1.5, by Oct 31, we may see 4 digits in daily cases recorded


THE country may record four-digit Covid-19 cases by the end of this month if the infectivity rate or the “R0” value maintains, the Health Ministry warns.

Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the country’s current R0 value of 1.5 must be brought down further.

The R0 value is used to calculate how fast the coronavirus spreads.

“The third wave started at 2.2, but yesterday, the R0 value was at 1.5.

“This is not good. If the infectivity rate remains at 1.5, it will mean that by Oct 31, we may see four digits in daily cases recorded,” he said in his Covid-19 press conference yesterday.

The country recorded 865 new Covid-19 cases yesterday, involving 858 local transmissions and seven imported cases, bringing the country’s overall total to 21,363.

Of the local cases yesterday, Sabah recorded the highest with 643 cases, followed by Selangor at 101 cases and Labuan with 34 cases.

He added that the remaining cases were from Penang with 26 cases, Perak (18), Melaka (16), Kuala Lumpur (7), Negri Sembilan (4), Kedah (3), Putrajaya (3), Johor (2), Pahang (1) and Terengganu (1).

Of the seven imported cases, four cases were from China, and the remaining three cases were from Qatar, Australia and the US each.

There are now 7,456 active Covid-19 cases that are being treated at health facilities nationwide, among which, 99 are in the intensive care unit, with 32 requiring respiratory aid.

There were 455 patients discharged yesterday, increasing the total recovered cases in the country to 13,717, which equals 64.2% of the overall cases.

Three deaths were recorded yesterday, bringing the country’s Covid-19 death toll to 190. These number involved two Malaysians and one foreigner, between the ages of 52 and 85.

The deceased were all from Sabah, with one of them having a history of chronic illness while the other two did not have any existing medical conditions.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry identified two new Covid-19 clusters yesterday in Hulu Langat, Selangor, and Melaka.

The cluster in Hulu Langat, the Hentian cluster, has already infected seven individuals, while the Bukit cluster in Melaka was found in the regions of Melaka Tengah, Alor Gajah and Jasin.

As of now, 15 individuals have been infected in this cluster.

On another note, Dr Noor Hisham clarified that it is highly unlikely for an individual to contract Covid-19 from the surface of food packages.

Recently, Reuters had reported a study by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention which found that it is possible for the Covid-19 virus to be transmitted through frozen food packaging.

“At the moment there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that the Covid-19 virus can be transmitted via food or food packaging,” he said.

He stressed that the Covid-19 infection remains mainly by droplets, as well as close contact from one person to another.