PUTRAJAYA, July 21 — The number of new COVID-19 cases in Malaysia hit double digits for the third straight day after 15 cases, 11 of them being local transmissions, were reported today.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said this brings the cumulative figure of positive cases to 8,815 cases, with 130 of being active cases.
“Of the 15 new cases, four are imported cases who were infected abroad, namely the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom and Indonesia, involving three Malaysians and one foreigner who was allowed into the country for work purposes.
“Among the 11 local transmissions, 10 are Malaysians while one case involved a foreigner who had been screened at the Immigration Detention Centre in Semujam, Sarawak,” he said at the COVID-19 media briefing here today.
On July 19, Malaysia reported 15 new positive cases followed by 21 more yesterday (July 20).
Dr Noor Hisham said seven cases had recovered and were discharged today, bringing the cumulative number for recoveries to 8,562, or 97.1 per cent of the total number of cases.
“To date, only four positive cases are still being treated in the Intensive Care Unit, with one requiring ventilator support,” he said, adding that no fatalities were recorded today, with the country’s death toll remaining at 123 cases.
Of the 10 local transmissions involving Malaysians recorded overnight, eight were reported in Sarawak, and one each in Selangor and Sabah.
“In Sarawak, five cases involved the Sentosa cluster (new cluster), one from the Stutong cluster, one involving the Kuching Medical Centre cluster and one self-screened case, an individual who took care of a patient at a medical centre. He was asymptomatic and is now being treated at the Sarawak General Hospital.
“The case in Selangor was detected through a screening for Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) and who was admitted to the Ampang Hospital while in Sabah, it was a screening for Influenza-Like-Illness (ILI) and this case is being treated at the Tawau Hospital,” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham also expressed his worry about the latest COVID-19 situation on the back of an increased number of cases of late, especially those involving local transmissions.
He said the number of active cases had dropped to 63 cases on July 9, but went up again to over 100 cases on July 19 and now stands at 130 cases.
“Up to July 21, there are 19 active clusters, with 13 new clusters reported in the last 10 days. Three of the 13 clusters are linked to COVID-19 local transmissions from import cases, namely the Novgorod patients under investigation (PIU) cluster, the Shirala PUI and Pitakwa cluster.
“The Jupiter cluster has not caused any local transmissions as it involves an isolated cluster from a docked ship,” he said.
He said the Ministry of Health (MOH) also welcomed the government’s decision to make it compulsory for Malaysians and foreigners coming back from overseas to undergo 14 days of isolation at designated quarantine stations and not at their own homes.
Dr Noor Hisham said this decision is hoped to prevent new clusters, with the Health director-general also pointing out that there were nine clusters involving local infections not linked to import cases.
“What this shows is that the public has become complacent and in the process are not complying with the set standard operating procedures (SOPs),” he said.