PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia’s daily rise in Covid-19 cases has remained in single digits for the fifth day in a row after the country recorded only five more new infections.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the five new cases (reported in 24 hours by noon yesterday) were all Malaysians, including three who had returned from Turkey, Qatar and Oman.
Two of the local transmission cases were detected from pre-referral screenings at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
Speaking at the ministry’s Covid-19 press conference, Dr Noor Hisham also announced that nine cases had fully recovered and were discharged yesterday.
There were no deaths for the 19th consecutive day, keeping the country’s death toll at 121.
The number of active cases has now gone down to 81.
Two confirmed Covid-19 cases are currently receiving treatment in the intensive care unit and both are on ventilation support.
Cumulatively, the number of positive cases in the country is 8,648, with 8,446 or 97.7% of patients having recovered.
Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry had been increasing its surveillance activities and targeted testing as it aimed to find undetected cases within the community.
“Some people may be concerned that Covid-19 is still present in the community and remains undetected, particularly among individuals without symptoms.
“To ensure that Covid-19 cases in the community continue to be monitored and detected early, the government has taken the approach of detecting cases through surveillance, including clinical surveillance, and screening of targeted high-risk groups.”
The ministry, he added, has detected 113 confirmed Covid-19 cases through clinical surveillance.
Of the total, 77 cases were found from tests conducted on Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) patients, 15 were detected from Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) patients and 21 were from sampling conducted before surgery on emergency and semi-emergency cases at public hospitals.
“Surveillance activities act as an early detection and warning system for the transmission of Covid-19 in Malaysia.
“This system allows the government to take immediate action to control the spread of the infection, ” said Dr Noor Hisham.
Targeted screening of nine high-risk groups, said Dr Noor Hisham, had helped to detect many cases from within the community.
The nine high-risk groups identified by the ministry are the Sri Petaling tabligh gathering cluster, tahfiz schools, areas under enhanced movement control order and active clusters, Malaysians returning from abroad, healthcare workers, wet market workers, foreign workers at construction sites within red zones, old folks homes and immigration depots.
Dr Noor Hisham said the targeted approach helped the country save costs and added that it had also been adopted in other countries to fight Covid-19 without mass testing.
“With this targeted approach, the resources used to conduct these tests and screening activities can be more prudent so wastage can be avoided.
“This is because our fight against Covid-19 is still far from over, ” he said.
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