‘Extension depends on facts’

PUTRAJAYA: Any further extension of the movement control order (MCO) will depend on Covid-19 data in the country by April 10, says Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The Health Ministry director-general said he could not predict what would happen but any decision would be based on science and facts.“We hope that by April 10, the data is available for us to make a decision on whether we need to extend or not,” he said during a press conference yesterday.

He said the ministry would be monitoring the situation but noted that all Malaysians would have to play their part as well.

“If we can keep to staying at home, making sure we wash our hands and (practise) social distancing, then we will look into the data,” he added.

To a question about the backlog of reported cases, Dr Noor Hisham explained that information on new cases was based on the numbers as at noon daily.

He noted that there were 150 new Covid-19 cases yesterday, bringing the total to 3,483. He added that 88 more patients had recovered, bringing the total of those discharged to 915.

Dr Noor Hisham also said there were 99 patients at intensive care units, of which 50 are on ventilators.

He added that 80 of the 150 new cases were linked to the tabligh cluster.

“Four deaths have been recorded today. This brings the total Covid-19 deaths to 57.”

Separately, Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry was concerned that Malaysians returning from abroad could bring back the virus.

Before the MCO, he said, there were 10,000 Malaysians returning to the country every day. These numbers had reduced to around 4,000 daily after the MCO, he added.

But he noted that this figure was increasing due to higher numbers of Malaysian students and workers returning due to stricter restrictions all over the world.

Dr Noor Hisham said he was worried imported cases could cause a surge or an exponential spike in infections.

Currently, those returning without symptoms would be placed in designated hotels while those with symptoms were taken to hospitals.

He said that over the last three days, there had been eight positive cases involving Malaysians returning to the country since the implementation of the compulsory quarantine.

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