‘One third was brought in dead’

PUTRAJAYA: Almost a third of the Covid-19 deaths during the current third wave was brought to the hospital dead, said the Health Ministry.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pic) said out of 110 deaths since the end of September, 35 of them were classified as “brought in dead” (BID) cases.

All 35 cases involved deaths in Sabah, currently the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

“We have 44 BID cases. Out of the 44, nine cases happened during the second wave, and 35 during the third wave.

“We have sent forensic experts to Sabah to ensure that they teach and look at the services on how to properly separate the BID cases on the field, ” said Dr Noor Hisham at the Health Ministry’s Covid-19 press briefing at its headquarters here yesterday.

So far, 246 people have died due to Covid-19 in the country since the outbreak began earlier this year.

Dr Noor Hisham said 136 of the fatalities were in the second wave while 110 deaths occurred in the current wave.

Yesterday alone, the country saw eight new deaths, with seven of them reported in Sabah and one in Selangor.

The youngest of the eight was a 35-year-old woman who died at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Kota Kinabalu.

Dr Noor Hisham said the deceased had a history of high blood pressure, asthma, stroke and dyslipidemia.

The remaining cases were those aged from 56 to 73, with most of the cases having comorbidities (more than one disease or condition present in the same person at the same time).

Currently, 94 Covid-19 patients are under intensive care nationwide, with 25 of them requiring ventilator support.

Dr Noor Hisham, however, said there are positive signs since the government imposed the conditional movement control order (MCO) in Sabah and the Klang Valley in the past two weeks, as the infectivity level has shown improvement.

The R0 (pronounced R-naught), which is the value of a virus’ infectivity, has dipped from 2.2 to 1.1 since the conditional MCO was enforced. “If the R0 was 2.2, we would have seen an average of 4,500 cases a day by the end of October. But the R0 has gone down to 1.1.

“This is still not enough as we want it to go down to at least 0.3, and this requires the cooperation of all Malaysians, ” he said.

The number of new cases yesterday was 801, down from 835 the previous day and the record daily hike of 1,240 on Monday.

Active cases in the country have reached the 10,000 mark for the first time, with 10,123 patients having tested positive and under treatment.

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