New cases show downward trend for two days

PUTRAJAYA: The Covid-19 cases in the country continued to show a downward trend for the second day straight, with 375 new infections recorded.

This is a drop from the 489 cases the day before and the record-breaking 691 cases recorded on Tuesday.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pic) said three of the country’s prison clusters had recorded only 18 new cases, which is a significantly lower number compared with previous days.

The Tembok cluster in Kedah recorded 14 new cases, the Benteng LD (Lahad Datu) cluster in Sabah has three cases while the Penjara Reman cluster in Penang has one new case.

“These clusters contributed to 4.8% of the total number of new cases in the country.

“All the Covid-19 positive cases are in these isolated clusters and are within the enhanced movement control order (MCO) areas.

“Therefore, they are isolated from the community, ” said Dr Noor Hisham at the Health Ministry’s Covid-19 briefing broadcast live from his home, where he is undergoing quarantine.

The bulk of the cases in the previous days has been from the Tembok cluster, which is centred on the Alor Setar prison.

The cluster has 1,200 cumulative cases so far and is currently the biggest and most active cluster in the country.

The country also reported five new deaths, which were all recorded in Sabah – Lahad Datu (one), Semporna (one), Sandakan (one) and Tawau (two).

Four of the deceased had pre-existing health conditions, with the oldest being an 82-year-old man in Tawau Hospital.

The country’s death toll has now gone up to 146.

The number of patients being treated under intensive care has risen to 60, with 20 of them requiring ventilator support.

Of the 375 cases, Dr Noor Hisham said 303 were sporadic infections detected within the community through the ministry’s Covid-19 screening efforts. Most of them were detected in Sabah (252 cases).

Sabah recorded the most number of new cases according to states (271 cases), followed by Selangor (36) and Kedah (16).

There are five new clusters, of which two are in Sabah and the others in Kuala Lumpur, Sarawak and Labuan.

Dr Noor Hisham said there was no need to reopen the Health Ministry’s low-risk quarantine centre at the Malaysian Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) as of now.

“We will study the matter from time to time. We still have 400 beds at the Sungai Buloh Hospital, but if needed we can reopen it.

“More importantly, we have the experience of setting up the centre in three days and opened six treatment and low-risk quarantine centres in Sabah, ” he added.

Dr Noor Hisham also said everyone should stay home if they had no important matters to attend to outside.

“We are now in the third phase. We hope we can flatten the curve in Sabah and we estimate a rise in cases in a week. We see in the past three days a reduction in cases, but we are still actively testing.

“We hope to trace all positive cases and isolate them, ” he added.

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