Recoveries bounce back but total cases cross 6,000-mark

PUTRAJAYA: Two new deaths were recorded over the past 24 hours, bringing the toll from Covid-19 to 102.

But in a reversal of yesterday’s figures, recoveries outnumbered new cases with 84 patients discharged from hospital against 57 infections recorded.

This brings total recoveries to 4,171 or 69.49% of all cases which now stand at 6,002.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said 1,729 patients are still receiving treatment with 36 in the intensive care unit and 15 in need of respiratory assistance.

The latest casualties were a 64-year-old man from Pahang who had cancer, and a 72-year-old man from Sarawak with a history of chronic illnesses.

Noor Hisham also provided an update on the Covid-19 situation in Sarawak, saying three clusters have been identified in the state – a Kuching church cluster, a cluster involving a person who had travelled to Italy, and a cluster at the Sarawak General Hospital (HUS).

These clusters combined are linked to 295 cases and eight deaths.

“Most of the cases from the HUS cluster are linked to the church cluster (29 cases or 51.8%). Based on investigations so far, no cases are traced to the handling of Covid-19 patients at wards and the ICU at the hospital,” he said.

He said active case detection for the HUS cluster had identified 2,003 close contacts, with 1,950 testing negative for Covid-19.

Noor Hisham said Sarawak has 18 hospitals to screen for Covid-19 and four to treat those with the virus.

The hospitals – HUS, Hospital Miri, Hospital Bintulu and Hospital Sibu – have a combined total of 736 beds, 63 ICU beds and 112 ventilators.

Separately, another five facilities with 901 beds have been identified to act as quarantine centres and treatment for low-risk patients.

Noor Hisham also said travel restrictions may be eased subject to standard operating procedures which were being discussed now.

“An announcement will be made soon,” he said.

On the screening of foreigners, he said a total of 21,271 have been screened with 811 testing positive. A total of 376 are still being treated, 431 have recovered and four have died.

He said the health ministry is also monitoring the operations of factories which are allowed to operate under the MCO to make sure they abide by its guidelines. Those who flout the guidelines risk having their operating licences revoked.

On Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s statement that undocumented migrants in enhanced movement control order (EMCO) areas will be detained at immigration detention centres, Noor Hisham said they would be screened for Covid-19 first.

He said the undocumented migrants would then be isolated for two weeks and screened again to ensure they were not carrying the virus.

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