PUTRAJAYA: The health ministry today announced 33 new Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours, an increase of two cases from yesterday. However, there were 103 recoveries during the period.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also said one more death was reported, bringing the number of fatalities to 119.
Noor Hisham told his daily press briefing here today that 16 of the new cases are imported and the other 17 are local transmissions, with 14 cases involving foreigners.
They bring the number of positive cases to date to 8,402 , with 1,115 active cases still receiving treatment as of noon.
The total number of recovered patients is 7,168 or 85.31 % of the total number of cases.
He said the new death involved an 85-year-old individual who was found to be Covid-19 positive when a post-mortem was carried out.
On another matter, Noor Hisham said that because of the high cost of personal protective equipment (PPE) during surgeries, private hospitals are charging patients for what he termed as “extra precautions” taken against Covid-19.
As for government hospitals, he said tests are carried out before a surgery to determine whether PPE is needed in the operating theatre.
On asymptomatic cases quarantined at home, Noor Hisham said it is carried out according to recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“They are told to be confined to a room with no close contact with family members to prevent transmission, especially to the elderly,” he said.
In other countries, he said, mild cases are treated at home while in Malaysia, all symptomatic cases are treated in hospital.
On schools reopening for those sitting for major examinations, Noor Hisham said it is being allowed as there are only single-digit confirmed cases involving Malaysians.
“We are starting with Form 5 and Upper 6 and we will learn from experience and, if need be, we will improve the SOP,” he said, adding that students will also be eating in their classrooms to ensure social distancing.
Those who show symptoms will be told to wear face masks and isolated, he said.
Noor Hisham also said the rt-PCR test is no longer a criteria before discharging a patient.
He said patients would be discharged as long as they do not have fever for three days, and 14 days after the onset of symptoms.
Quoting worldwide studies, he said Covid-19 patients are most infectious two to three days before developing symptoms and it would reduce dramatically over the next seven days after the symptoms appear.
He said this is consistent with the WHO document, “Clinical management of Covid-19, Interim Guidance, May 2020”, which states that Covid-19 can only spread within 10 days of the symptoms.
On the Chini by-election on July 4, Noor Hisham said those who are infected and hospitalised may not vote. “We will draw up an SOP to be viewed by the various agencies,” he said.
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