1 more Covid-19 death but recoveries exceed new cases yet again

PUTRAJAYA: One Covid-19 death was reported today though recoveries continue to exceed new infections, with 95 patients being discharged and 84 new cases reported.

The new cases bring the total number of Covid-19 cases recorded to 5,389. Of this, 2,103 are still being treated, while 3,197 patients have recovered.

At a press conference today, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said 46 patients are being treated in the intensive care unit (ICU), with 26 cases needing respiratory assistance.

The most recent death brings the total to 89. It involves a 51-year-old man from Johor with a history of chronic illnesses. He had come into close contact with a Covid-19 positive case.

New cluster involving students returning from Indonesia

Noor Hisham also said a new cluster had been identified involving 43 Malaysian students returning from Indonesia through KLIA on April 16.

The students were returning from Temboro, a red zone for Covid-19 in Magetan, Java. The students are being quarantined and treated.

“This shows the government’s move to quarantine and screen all Malaysians returning from overseas is appropriate.

“This is to ensure no imported cases infect Malaysians,” Noor Hisham said.

All those returning home from overseas have to undergo a compulsory 14-day quarantine.

Overall, he said, returning Malaysians so far accounted for 65 Covid-19 cases.

On other Covid-19 clusters, Noor Hisham said there was an increase in the number of cases among the Bali cluster (four), Kuching health workers cluster (three), Menara City One cluster (one), Kuantan engineering cluster (one).

He also said the health ministry had also placed doctors at prisons to ensure the health of those locked up is taken care of.

Clinical trial for use of Remdesivir drug

On another matter, Noor Hisham said the health ministry will be starting clinical trials to test the safety and effectiveness of the Remdesivir drug to treat Covid-19 soon.

He said nine hospitals, which are taking part in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) solidarity trials, are ready to select participants from among Covid-19 patients fulfilling the necessary criteria.

“The Medical Research and Ethics Committee (MREC) is working with the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency, which acts as the regulatory body, to approve the use of the drug in clinical trials,” he said, adding the evaluation of Remdesivir covers safety, quality and effectiveness of the drug.

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