He said pre-surgical sampling was among initiatives taken to detect early infections in the community.
“It was conducted on a large population and it covered people of all walks of life without symptoms.
“Individuals who need to undergo surgery for emergency and semi-emergency cases at government hospitals need to undergo a Covid-19 test first,” he said in a statement yesterday.
As of July 10, he said a total of 60,952 pre-surgical samples have been taken and 21 cases tested positive (0.03%).
“The percentage of positive cases remains low despite the high sampling rate. This indicates that the spread of Covid-19 is under control.
“The ministry will continue to monitor Covid-19 cases in the community and ensure cases are detected early,” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham also said that Malaysia reported eight new Covid-19 cases and one new death yesterday, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 8,704 and the death toll at 122.
“Four are imported cases involving Malaysian returnees. Four others are local transmission cases, involving two Malaysians and two foreigners,” he said, adding that the local transmission cases were in Sabah and Sarawak.
The two foreigners were detainees at the Immigration Department depot in Sepang, who tested positive before deportation.
“Currently there are three Covid-19 patients who are being treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and two require ventilator support,” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham noted that the latest Covid-19 death was in Sarawak. The 72-year-old man had a history of hypertension and diabetes, Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) and had several traditional treatments before being admitted at a private hospital on July 9.
“He was then referred to Hospital Umum Sarawak. His health deteriorated after testing positive and he was sent to the ICU,” said Dr Noor Hisham.
“Avoid ‘3C’, which are crowded place, confined space and close conversation. Practise ‘3W’, which are frequent handwashing with soap; wearing a face mask in public or when showing symptoms; and remember the warnings of the ministry,” he said.