57 new Covid-19 cases but no deaths reported

PUTRAJAYA: There are no new Covid-19 deaths though 57 new cases were recorded today, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 7,819.

At a press conference today, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the death toll remains at 115.

“Of the new cases, 10 are imported. Of the 47 local transmissions, 43 involve foreign nationals,” he said, adding these involved four clusters, including the Sepang immigration depot cluster.

A total of 23 people have recovered and have been discharged, bringing the total to 6,353.

Some 1,351 are still being treated, with nine patients in the intensive care unit (ICU), two of whom require respiratory assistance.

On a separate matter, Noor Hisham warned that smoking can increase the risk of complications for those infected with Covid-19.

He said an early analysis on the risk of smoking and non-communicable diseases of 86 people who died of Covid-19 found that 19.8% (17 people) were smokers.

The same analysis showed the death rate among smokers who did not have chronic illnesses (17.6%) was higher than non-smokers without chronic illnesses (12.1%).

The ministry, he said, continued to monitor offences related to tobacco products, which were controlled by the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004 and the Poisons Act 1952.

“Under the movement control order (MCO) and conditional MCO, most premises (selling tobacco) are not allowed to operate as before but we find online sales are still active through e-trading platforms.”

So far, he said, action has been taken against 118 personal websites, e-trading platforms and social media pages.

Noor Hisham said the ministry was aware of the plight of smokers who wanted to quit but faced difficulty in doing so amid restrictions on movement.

He said the ministry is working with the Pharmaceutical Association of Malaysia, Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia to provide online counselling services to help people quit smoking.

On the clusters at the Immigration Department depots, Noor Hisham said the ministry was still identifying the source of the infections but measures have been taken to separate those who tested positive and quarantine others exposed to positive cases.

New clusters

Another 15 cases, he said, came from three new clusters in Pahang, involving foreign workers in Bera and Maran.

Meanwhile, Noor Hisham said the ministry was not expecting a spike in new Covid-19 cases among locals, which indicated the strict compliance with standard operating procedures (SOPs) among Malaysians.

The focus now, he said, was the adherence to SOPs by foreign nationals.

“We have to look at their accommodation and surroundings, Employers need to look at communicating the SOPs to their workers and take hygienic measures.

“If we can get cooperation from both locals and foreign nationals, hopefully, we can break the chain of infection.”

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