New Covid cases down 9.9% – Dr Zaliha

PUTRAJAYA – The number of new COVID infections dropped by 9.9 per cent to 5,801 cases in the 21st Epidemiological Week (ME 21/2023) from May 21 to 27, compared to 6,439 cases in the previous week.

Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said admissions of COVID-19 patients, including suspected cases, to health facilities also declined from 5.8 to 5.3 per 100,000 population during the week.

In a statement today, she said the utilisation rates of ICU and non-critical beds decreased by four per cent respectively.

“In ME 21/2023, a total of 113 new variants were reported, which comprised 87 cases of Variant of Concern (VOC) and 26 Variant of Interest (VOI), all of them were Omicron variants,” she said.

She also said that, to date, the cumulative number of cases of XBB.1.16 (Arcturus) and sublineages were 50 cases, all of which were local cases.

Meanwhile, as of May 27, only 50 per cent or 16,335,353 Malaysians had received the first booster dose, while only 2.5 per cent or 823,317 people had received the second booster shot.

“The risk of hospitalisation and the severity of symptoms can be reduced by taking a booster dose. Until now, the COVID-19 situation in Malaysia is still under control and health services in hospitals have not been affected,” she said.

Regarding the hot weather situation in Malaysia, Dr Zaliha said no new death cases due to heat stroke were reported in ME 21/2023.

A total of 34 cases of heat-related illness were recorded from ME 16/2023 to ME 21/2023, involving 20 cases of heat exhaustion, nine cases of heat cramps, and five cases of heat stroke.

She said 21 cases involved adults, teenagers (eight), children (three) and senior citizens (two), adding that all other cases are stable and have been discharged.

Dr Zaliha advises the public to limit outdoor and extreme physical activities and to drink water regularly.

“If you experience symptoms of heat-related illness, seek immediate treatment at a nearby health facility,” she said. – Bernama / pic TMR File