Record number of deaths at 39

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia reached another grim record as 39 people died of Covid-19 – the country’s highest daily death toll reported throughout the pandemic.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the figure had taken the country’s Covid-19 death toll up to 1,761.

“The 39 deaths involved individuals aged between 43 and 88. All but two are Malaysian citizens, ” said Dr Noor Hisham.

Nearly all the states recorded new fatalities, with Johor reporting the highest number with 10 deaths.

Kuala Lumpur had eight deaths, Selangor five while Sabah had three.

Kedah, Sarawak, Kelantan and Pahang had two cases each while Perak, Melaka, Negri Sembilan, Terengganu and Putrajaya had one case each.

Most of the deceased had underlying conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease. There were three cases classified as “dead on arrival”.

Yesterday, Malaysia’s daily Covid-19 cases came closer to breaching the 5,000 mark – with 4,765 new infections recorded. This is Malaysia’s fourth highest daily figure recorded throughout the pandemic.

The number of active cases have reached 40,101. At present, a record number of 469 patients are being treated at intensive care units (ICU) nationwide, with 244 requiring ventilator support.

Nearly half of the country’s cases yesterday were recorded in Selangor, with the state reporting 2,082 new infections. It is only the fifth time that the state had recorded more than 2,000 cases in a day.

Kuala Lumpur had the second highest number of cases with 540 new infections. There were also 20 new Covid-19 clusters detected by the Health Ministry.

At the same time, 3,124 patients were discharged, bringing the cumulative total of recoveries to 411,360.

Earlier, Dr Noor Hisham called for “100% compliance” towards the standard operating procedure for the Hari Raya celebration.

Describing the latest development where 70% of the cases were sporadic and 80% of patients were asymptomatic as “increasingly worrying”, he advised the people to avoid large gatherings during Hari Raya and postpone their visits to homes or graves.

“This year alone, the number of clusters have gone up drastically. To date, there are 435 clusters which are classified as community outbreaks. These clusters are spread from family members, close contacts, and social events.

“The risk of infection is high if visiting is allowed during Hari Raya, ” said Dr Noor Hisham.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said 12 Covid-19 hospitals in seven states had hit 100% or more in capacity.

The seven states are Penang, Selangor, Perak, Johor, Sarawak, Kelantan and Melaka. Penang alone recorded 117% usage of beds in the ICUs yesterday.

“To cope with the surge, we have repurposed several wards to increase the capacity of ICU beds for Covid-19 patients.

“We also outsource non-Covid-19 cases to private hospitals as well as step-down care to Covid-19 quarantine and treatment centres, ” he said.

“Selangor is the worst hit, ” he said.

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