Covid-19: One more death and 153 new cases reported

PETALING JAYA: Another death and 153 new Covid-19 cases have been reported, bringing it to a total of four fatalities and 1,183 cases as of noon Saturday (March 21), says Datuk Seri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

In a statement on Saturday, the Health Ministry director-general said the latest death involved patient 238, a 50-year-old Malaysian from the tabligh cluster, bringing the number of deaths from Covid-19 to four.

He added there were 27 recovered Covid-19 patients who were discharged, bringing the total to 114 cases.

Dr Noor Hisham said that a total of 37 patients were being treated in the intensive care unit (ICU), and 23 of them needed ventilators.

Based on preliminary investigations, 90 of the 153 new cases were linked to the tabligh gathering at Masjid Jamek, Sri Petaling.

The majority of Covid-19 cases in the country are linked to the tabligh cluster.

On the fourth death, Dr Noor Hisham said the patient was admitted into the Melaka Hospital on March 12 with severe acute respiratory infection (Sari) symptoms.

"He was then put on a ventilator on the fifth day when he was admitted to the isolation ward and during ICU care," he said.

However, Dr Noor Hisham said the man's health deteriorated day by day and he was pronounced dead at 1.30am on March 21.

Dr Noor Hisham also said 19 Health Ministry healthcare workers and five workers from private healthcare facilities have been infected by Covid-19.

"Two out of 19 Health Ministry healthcare workers are now being treated in ICU. The cause for the infection on all 19 is not due to non-compliance in handling Covid-19 cases at their facilities.

"Investigations showed that they all were infected because they were in close contact with first and second generation contacts from the tabligh cluster," he said.

He noted that as of March 14, 337 healthcare workers have undergone health screening for Covid-19.

Dr Noor Hisham said from the 337 healthcare workers, 251 have returned with negative results while 86 were still awaiting results.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham added that United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) was working together with the Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia (Imaret), Malaysian Relief Agency and Mercy Malaysia to identify the participants who were at the tabligh gathering.

He also said the Ministry was working closely with UNHCR to ensure that the refugees and asylum seekers are also covered in the prevention and management activities by the Ministry.

"This is to prevent any transmission of the virus in society," he said.

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