PUTRAJAYA: A mother and a daughter were among four additional deaths caused by Covid-19, bringing the total number of fatalities to eight in the country, says Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
The Health director-general warned that the number of infected cases is expected to rise.
He said the fifth death involved a 79-year-old woman who passed away on March 18 after she was warded at the Borneo Medical Centre on March 16 following fever and coughing for five days.
“The sixth victim, who was the 40-year-old daughter of the fifth victim, was initially warded at the Sarawak General Hospital on March 18 after suffering from fever and cough since March 7. She, however, died on March 21.
“The seventh death involved a 57-year-old Malaysian who has a history of travel to Vietnam and contact with a patient positive with Covid-19 from the tabligh cluster.
“He was warded at Hospital Kuala Lumpur on March 18 after suffering from fever, cough and sore throat for a week, before breathing his last on March 21, ” Dr Noor Hisham said in a statement yesterday.
The eighth death involved a 69-year-old from the tabligh cluster who was warded at Hospital Tumpat on March 16 and transferred to Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab II on March 18 after suffering from fever since March 12.
“He finally succumbed to Covid-19 on March 21 after his condition deteriorated, ” he said.
Meanwhile, at a press conference earlier, Dr Noor Hisham said the fourth death was the 238th case that had been reported.
“The 50-year-old Malaysian was admitted to Hospital Melaka after testing positive.
“He was also found to have been from the tabligh cluster, ” he said.
While infected cases are expected to go up, Dr Noor Hisham said hospital beds are sufficient to deal with the increase currently.
“There are 3,400 beds and 300 ICU beds in 26 hospitals that have been prepared. The usage right now for ICUs are only at 18% while the occupied beds are at 20% currently, ” he said.
He also said that prior planning has helped despite the ministry’s inability to “construct a hospital in 10 days”.
While beds and face masks are still in supply, he said that ventilators are needed.
“As of now we need around 500 ventilators for the 26 hospitals and we are currently working with China to get them, ” he said.
On current statistics, Dr Noor Hisham said 27 new recoveries have been reported, bringing the total patients discharged to 114.
At the same time, the ministry has received 153 new cases that were tested positive, bringing the total to 1,183 nationwide up to noon yesterday.
“Ninety of the 153 cases have been confirmed to be from the tabligh cluster. As of now, 37 patients are being treated.”