Recoveries keep rolling as new cases hit lowest level since MCO

PUTRAJAYA: Recoveries outstripped new cases by more than two-fold today, with 201 discharged and 69 more cases reported, the lowest since the movement control order (MCO) period began on March 18.

This brings total recoveries to 2,967, 56.5% of the 5,251 cases reported throughout the country.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said 2,198 patients are still being treated, with 51 in the intensive care unit and 26 in need of respiratory assistance.

Meanwhile, two new deaths were recorded, bringing the toll to 86.

The latest deaths were both 85-year-old men with chronic illnesses and a history of close contact with positive cases.

Noor Hisham said 601 of the cumulative positive cases were foreigners, comprising tourists, migrant workers, refugees and asylum seekers.

These included 108 Indonesians, 104 Filipinos, 64 Bangladeshis, 60 Indians and 51 Pakistanis.

He also urged companies employing foreign workers to take responsibility and ensure health protocols, such as disinfection and social distancing, are implemented at the workplace.

He said this was especially after Singapore recorded a spike in Covid-19 cases, mostly involving migrant worker clusters.

He added that the ministry was working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to ensure refugees and asylum seekers were included in the government’s virus containment efforts.

Rapid test kits

Noor Hisham said the price of the rapid test kits from South Korea was currently less than RM50 per kit, adding that the price was still being negotiated as the ministry will be ordering a large quantity.

He added that the remdesivir drug had been approved by the ministry and its usage will be monitored to check its effectiveness.

Noor Hisham also said there needed to be an “exit strategy” before the government could call an end to the ongoing movement control order (MCO), citing several key factors.

These included reductions in the Covid-19 infection rate and cases of severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and Influenza-like illnesses (ILI).

He added that laboratories needed to be able to test patients accurately and quickly. The hospitals’ capacity in housing and treating patients needed to be also maintained.

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