New cases shoot up to 277, mostly involving foreigners

PUTRAJAYA: A total of 277 new Covid-19 infections were reported by the health ministry today, with the majority of them comprising foreigners, pushing the total number of cases to 8,247.

Only four of the new cases comprised Malaysians, while 271 cases involved foreigners and the remaining two were imported cases.

At a press conference today, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said 270 cases were detected at the Bukit Jalil immigration depot while a construction site in Pudu reported one case.

There are currently 1,573 active cases, with six patients being treated in the intensive care unit (ICU), with two needing respiratory assistance.

The Covid-19 death toll remains unchanged at 115, with no new deaths reported for more than a week now.

Noor Hisham said 28 patients have recovered, bringing the total number of patients discharged so far to 6,559.

He said the new cases from the Bukit Jalil depot were detected after repeat tests were carried out on detainees who had been quarantined after exposure to a patient.

The positive rate for the virus at the depot is currently at 39.4%. Another 905 others are awaiting results of their second screening.

So far, 608 cases have been recorded from the depot, out of 1,545 individuals screened, with 32 testing negative. Two patients from this Bukit Jalil depot cluster have recovered.

The Semenyih, Sepang and Putrajaya detention centres have not recorded any new cases.

Noor Hisham said there were also no cases reported from any prisons so far.

The imported cases involved two Malaysians returning from Spain and Egypt.

Screening of asymptomatic wet market workers detected two new cases, both of them Malaysians.

Screenings on madrasahs and tahfiz schools also detected two positive cases.

Noor Hisham warned again that smokers, as well as children exposed to smokers, have a higher risk of greater complications if they contract Covid-19.

He said the functions of their lungs would be disrupted. This vulnerability to sickness is among reasons why the ministry has been discouraging Malaysians from smoking.

On the recent protest by cleaning workers at Hospital Ipoh, he said the matter did not concern the health ministry and called on them to resolve the issue with their employer.

He also urged the company to resolve the matter with the workers.

Noor Hisham also advised Malaysians to ensure their homes were clean and free of stagnant water to prevent Aedes mosquitoes from breeding.

He said the number of cases this year was 11.7% less than the same period last year.

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