No deaths, recoveries nearly double new cases

PUTRAJAYA: No new deaths were reported today, leaving the country’s Covid-19 toll stagnant at 107, with 39 infections recorded over the past 24 hours bringing total cases to 6,467.

Of the new cases, 30 involved foreign nationals.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said 74 patients were also discharged, taking total recoveries to 4,776 or 73.9% of all cases.

He said a total of 1,584 are still being treated with 19 patients in the intensive care unit and eight in need of respiratory assistance.

The health ministry has also identified a new cluster involving security guards working at a shopping mall in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.

There are 10 positive cases from this cluster involving nine Nepalese nationals staying at the same home and one local guard.

“Covid-19 screenings have been carried out on the people living at the residence and other guards at the mall. So far 436 people have been screened,” Noor Hisham said.

Of these, 347 tested negative and 10 tested positive while the rest are awaiting their results.

On haircuts, he said salons are still barred from opening as there had been reports of infections among hair salon-goers in Japan.

“We are still monitoring the situation,” he added.

He said the government had no plans yet for an exit strategy but was following the six criteria set by the World Health Organization for ending lockdowns.

“So far, our cases are reducing. We hope that in a week we can control and reduce cases as well as possible. Now we are certain of controlling.

“But we still have new clusters. What is important is identifying those clusters and taking action.”

He added that a factor in new clusters involving construction workers and security guards was their cramped living conditions.

In the case of the most recent cluster involving security guards, he said, 15 of them had been living in one apartment.

Noor Hisham said the ministry would act to prevent the foreign workers from staying in large numbers in cramped places.

He also advised everyone to maintain personal hygiene, and when it comes to public toilets, to avoid using those which are dirty.

“This is important as infections can happen in closed and unclean areas,” he said, adding that cleanliness was everyone’s responsibility.

Noor Hisham also said there had been fewer instances of patients with influenza-like illnesses and severe acute respiratory infection, indicating that the authorities had the spread of the virus under control.

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