19 new cases, with recoveries outpacing infections

PUTRAJAYA: No new deaths related to Covid-19 were reported by the health ministry today, with the death toll remaining at 117.

Nineteen new cases were reported, pushing the total number of infected patients nationwide so far to 8,322, with 1,531 active cases.

The new cases comprised six imported cases, while the local transmissions involved 11 Malaysians and two foreigners.

At a press conference today, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said five patients are being treated in the intensive care unit (ICU), with none needing respiratory assistance.

He said 39 patients have recovered, bringing the total number of patients discharged so far to 6,674.

The foreigners were two Bangladeshi migrant workers. One was detected during a screening for workers and the other was linked to the second Kuala Lumpur construction site cluster.

The local cases included two infected Malaysians detected during screenings at a Dengkil rehabilitation centre. Another was detected during a workplace screening in Klang and a detainee at the Sabak Bernam police headquarters was also found positive to the virus.

A screening of factory workers in Seremban also detected a Covid-19 positive Malaysian. Two cases in Sabah were detected after close contact screenings.

Two new cases were also detected during screenings at tahfiz schools and madrasahs, after staff and students at 12 additional schools were screened.

The imported cases involved four Malaysians returning from India and two from Brunei.

With the number of cases reducing significantly, Noor Hisham said public hospitals will gradually begin to accept more non-Covid-19 patients in order to increase its normal services to the people.

He said hospitals will start by setting aside 30% of their capacity for other patients. The number of beds will be increased gradually. Ward usage for Covid-19 patients is currently less than 15%.

He added that health workers deployed to other states in view of the pandemic could soon be allowed to return to their home states.

“We are looking at how we can optimise our hospitals. However, 30% of beds will be set aside for Covid-19 patients always, even if we’re not using them,” he said.

There are currently seven Covid-19 hospitals. Another 33 “hybrid” hospitals handle both Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients.

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