New Covid cases surpasses 20,000 mark, no signs of slowing down

A total of 164 deaths yesterday takes the number of fatalities past the 10,000-mark to 10,019


MALAYSIA hit a record high of 20,596 positive Covid-19 cases yesterday, breaching the 20,000-mark for the first time.

The country’s cumulative cases currently stood at more than 1.2 million.

Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said Selangor remains the highest state for new positive cases at 8,549 while Kuala Lumpur (KL) recorded 2,163 cases and Kedah at 1,446 cases.

This was followed by Johor (1,300), Sabah (1,062), Penang (1,022), Negri Sembilan (989), Perak (916), Sarawak (759), Kelantan (772), Melaka (622), Terengganu (501), Pahang (426), Putrajaya (50), Labuan (15) and Perlis (4).

Meanwhile, there were 164 deaths recorded in the past 24 hours, taking the number of fatalities past the 10,000-mark to 10,019.

Additionally the Health Ministry said the majority of brought in dead (BID) patients had comorbidities and were unaware they had contracted the virus, and were never tested.

Up until Tuesday, 1,131 out of 9,403 people who died of Covid-19 were BID, while numbers are still on the rise.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said 79% of BID victims were over the age of 40, while Category 1 and Category 2 cases were between 80% and 90% of overall deaths.

He said contributing factors included close contacts, failure to get tested when there were signs of illness, delay in seeking treatment, and patients not seeking treatment and testing despite symptoms.

“The overwhelmed medical transport services, for instance, and the limited number of ambulances available has also made it harder for patients to get the medical help they need in an emergency.

“Unfortunately, this logistics constraint has contributed to the rise in BID cases, especially in the Greater Klang Valley, where there has been a surge in infections,” he was reported as saying.

He also said some of those who were infected did not provide accurate contact details at screening centres, resulting in the inability to be contacted for hospitalisation.

“When the district health office wanted to check on the positive person, to set an appointment at the Covid-19 Assessment Centre and wait for an admission bed, the patient could not be contacted because their details did not match.

“Either the information they provided was incomplete or incorrect, or some simply did not want to be admitted despite the deteriorating condition,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said a conditional approval for the Moderna vaccine was approved by the government yesterday during the Drug Control Authority (DCA) meeting.

The Moderna vaccine is registered to Zuellig Pharma Sdn Bhd and produced by Spanish-based Rovi Pharma Industrial Services.

In a statement, he said the conditional approval is for the emergency use of “Spikevax” 0.20mg/ ml dispersion for injection Covid-19 mRNA Vaccine (nucleoside modified). Spikevax is another name for Moderna.

He added that the conditional approval requires that information on the quality, safety and effectiveness of the vaccine be monitored and evaluated based on the latest data from time to time.

“This is to ensure the comparison of benefits over risks for the vaccine products remains positive,” he said.

The DCA recently approved conditional approvals for vaccines by Sinopharm and Johnson & Johnson manufactured by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products Co Ltd in China and Janssen Pharmaceutica NV in Belgium, respectively.

Malaysia has been using Sinovac, AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, all of which require two doses.

Separately, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said several localities in Sabah, Pahang, Kelantan and Kedah will be under the Enhanced Movement Control order (EMCO) from tomorrow until Aug 20.

The localities will include Kampung Baru Pasir Putih, Kampung Wallace Bay, Pulau Sebatik and Sawit Veeta Palm Factory, Tongod in Sabah; Kampung Morak, Mukim Kebakat in Tumpat, Kelantan; Taman Nilam Mukim Kuah, Langkawi, Kedah; and Felda Sungai Koyan 1 and 2, Lipis, Pahang.

He added that the EMCO will be extended for localities in three states, including low-cost public housing in Gong Pasir, Kampung Gong Pasir, Taman Maidam in Terengganu; Bentong Prison Complex in Pahang; and Kampung Joh and Kampung Maka, Machang in Kelantan until Aug 16.

He added that 71 premises were instructed to close with immediate effect for failure to comply with standard operating procedures.