COVID-19 situation in Malaysia still under control – MoH

PUTRAJAYA – COVID-19 cases increased by 28 per cent to 2,305 cases in the 46th epidemiological week (ME 46/2023) from Nov 12-18 compared to 1,801 cases reported the previous week, said the Ministry of Health (MoH).

It said the rate of COVID-19 admission, including suspected COVID-19 patients, to health facilities dropped to  2.0 for every 100,000 population in ME 46/2023 compared to ME 45/2023, which was from Nov 5-11.

The MoH said the utilisation rate of intensive care unit (ICU) beds was at 0.4 per cent while that of non-critical beds was 0.7 per cent in ME 46/2023.

“So far, the COVID-19 situation in Malaysia is under control,” the MoH said in a statement today.

It also said that a total of 21 new Omicron variants had been reported, comprising 20 cases of Variant of Concern (VOC) and one case of Variant of Interest (VOI) in ME 46/2023.

So far, there are a total of 785 cumulative VOI cases circulating, namely XBB.1.16, XBB.1.5 and EG.5, with 783 local cases and two imported cases.

They include 143 cases in Sarawak, Selangor (136 cases), Kuala Lumpur (119), Melaka (117), Johor (59), Kedah (52), Penang (37), Terengganu (24), Sabah (23), Kelantan (21), Negeri Sembilan (16), Perlis (12), Perak and Putrajaya (nine each) and Pahang (eight).

The MoH said that as of ME45/2023, the surveillance at sentinel locations nationwide found 61 Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) samples to be positive for COVID-19, with a positive rate of 7.0 per cent while 69 Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) samples to be positive at a rate of 3.0 per cent.

Based on the data as of Oct 31, the MoH said only 50.1 per cent or 16,348,414 of the population had received the first booster shot and only 828,148 Malaysians or 2.5 per cent had received the second booster jab.

“The risk of hospital admission and serious symptoms can be reduced by taking the booster jabs.

“The MoH is expecting a small increase in COVID-19 cases following the movement and meeting of friends and families during festivals and group activities,” it said. – BERNAMA