by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE
KUALA LUMPUR – The country’s COVID-19 daily positive cases recorded a downward trend of below 20,000 for the fourth day in a row with 19,105 cases recorded yesterday. compared to 22,341 cases on Saturday (March 19).
Based on the data on the COVIDNOW website, the last time the country recorded COVID-19 positive cases of below 20,000 cases was last Feb 10, with 19,090 cases.
After that the number increased to 20,939 cases on Feb 11 and continued to show an upward trend, recording 32,800 cases on March 11 before dropping to 26,250 cases on March 12.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said a total of the 28,250 recovery cases from COVID-19 were recorded yesterday, which was higher than the number of positive cases detected that day.
“Of the 19,105 positive COVID-19 cases recorded yesterday, 18,912 cases or 98.99 percent are in category one and two. A total of 8,267 cases are in category one, while 10,645 cases are in category two,” he said in a statement today.
He said the remaining 193 cases or 1.01 per cent were in category three, four and five.
Of the total 193 cases, he said, 81 cases or 0.42 per cent were in category three, 44 cases or 0.23 per cent in category four and 68 cases or 0.36 per cent in category five.
On the infectivity rate, or Rt, it was 0.93 nationwide yesterday, with Sarawak recording the highest rate of 1.03 and Sabah, the lowest at 0.64.
He said five states recorded more than 50 per cent usage of critical case beds or at the Intensive Care Units (ICU), namely Kuala Lumpur (67 per cent), Johor (66 per cent), Perlis (64 per cent), Kelantan (58 per cent) and Selangor (56 per cent).
Dr Noor Hisham said continuous genomic research and surveillance conducted by seven universities and the Medical Research Institute showed that the Omicron variant has begun to replace the Delta variant as the main variant that is spreading among the Malaysian population.
He said the three Omicron variant sub-lineages that existed in the country were the BA.1, BA.1.1, and BA.2 and the concern over the BA.2 sub-lineage was its likeliness to result in higher transmission than other Omicron sub-lineages, as well as the Delta variant.
“For the period between March 1 and 17 March, it was found that the Omicron sub-lineage BA.2 variant increased to 27.1 per cent compared to the period in January and February this year, with reporting for the Omicron sub-lineage BA.2 variant at only 0.9 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively.
“The sharp increase in the BA.2 sub-lineage is something that needs to be given attention to,” he added.
According to Dr Noor Hisham, the Omicron sub-lineage BA.2 variant is likely to be the dominant variant in Malaysia.
Therefore, Malaysians need to be wary of the increasing transmission of Omicron BA.2. variants, he said, adding that they also needed to be concerned about the prolonged transmission of Delta which could lead to more serious infections, especially among those who are not vaccinated or had not received the booster dose.