KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 — Malaysia’s coronavirus cases have risen to 1,796 total, reporting 172 new infections today, among the highest daily increases in 10 days.
According to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Malaysia reported 673 Covid-19 cases a week ago, which means that coronavirus infections more than doubled in just seven days.
The number of coronavirus fatalities has also increased to 17, all Malaysians, out of which two were reported by the Ministry of Health (MOH) earlier today.
“The government’s strategy is to detect, screen, isolate, and treat Covid-19 patients,” Muhyiddin said in a national address today.
“The Ministry of Health (MOH) will increase testing capacity to do tests at a larger scale. This includes doing mass testing, especially in high-risk areas.”
Muhyiddin announced that the government would extend the Movement Control Order on a national partial shutdown by two weeks until April 14, in light of continuous new Covid-19 infections.
He estimated that new cases would continue to be reported.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said yesterday that MOH plans to increase testing capacity from 7,000 tests daily to 16,500 tests a day in one or two weeks’ time.
Health authorities hope to test asymptomatic people as well so they can be isolated and treated, saying the coronavirus is already spreading in the community.
Update at 9pm:
Separately, Dr Hisham today announced that as at 12pm today, a total of 19 people has succumbed to the deadly virus. Patients in ICU have decreased from 64 yesterday to 45 today, but the number of patients on ventilator support saw a surge from 27 yesterday to 34 today.
“According to preliminary investigations, out of the 172 new cases reported today, 71 cases were related to the tabligh cluster in Seri Petaling. Whereas the remaining 101 cases are still under investigation and may be related to other clusters,” he told reporters.
According to MOH, Selangor has the highest number of Covid-19 cases at 435, followed by Kuala Lumpur (270), Johor (196), Sabah (170), Perak (128), and Negri Sembilan (123).
According to The Asean Post, as of today, Malaysia has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the region at 1,796, almost double of the second-most affected country, Thailand, with 934 cases, followed by Indonesia (790), the Philippines (636), and Singapore (558).