COVID-19: 69 new cases is the lowest since MCO enforced – Health DG

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PUTRAJAYA, April 17 – Malaysia today recorded 69 COVID-19 new cases, the lowest daily figure recorded as opposed to a sequence of triple-digit cases reported since the Movement Control Order (MCO) came into force on March 18.

There were further signs of encouragement in the country’s battle against the pandemic when 201 recovery cases were reported, almost three times the number of new cases recorded today.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the 201 cases brings the cumulative fully recovered cases up to 2,967 or 56.5 percent of the total number of cases.

“The 69 new cases raises the tally to 5,251 cases and the total number of active cases capable of being infective is 2,198 cases. They have been isolated and given treatment,” he said.

Speaking at the Ministry of Health (MOH) COVID-19 daily media conference here, Dr Noor Hisham, however, said that there were another two fatalities recorded today, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 86 cases or 1.64 percent of the death toll.

He said the 85th fatality (case 5064) is an 85-year-old Malaysian man who had close contact with case 4,657 linked to the Bali patient-under-investigation cluster.

“He was treated for blood cancer at a private medical centre and later transferred to the Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital, Pahang on April 15, and died yesterday at 3.30 pm.

“The 86th death (case 5,183) is also a Malaysian man, aged 85, who had a history of high blood pressure and stroke.

Remdesivir has been used to treat COVID-19 patients

In another news, antiviral drug ‘remdesivir’ has been used to treat COVID-19 patients in the country, says Dr Noor Hisham.

He said, however, the ministry was still monitoring the results of its use, and it was too early to share anything.

“What is certain is that we do not have any issues with the drug, nor others. In terms of stock, we have a sufficient amount to treat patients,” he said during the daily COVID-19 press conference here today.

Dr Noor Hisham had previously stated that drugs such as Chloroquine, Hydroxychloroquine and a combination of Lopinavir / Ritonavir had been used to treat the virus.

Meanwhile, on the antigen rapid test kit from South Korea, Dr Noor Hisham said it cost less than RM50 per kit, but MOH was still negotiating for a lower price.

Yesterday, Dr Noor Hisham was reported saying that the MOH had found an antigen test kit from South Korea with a sensitivity rate of 84.4 per cent to help boost COVID-19 testing in the country.

– BERNAMA