KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 — Health authorities today reported 235 new coronavirus infections, the highest daily spike ever, leading to a total of 2,031 cases in Malaysia.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also announced four new fatalities, making a total of 23 deaths from Covid-19 in the country. More than half of coronavirus fatalities in Malaysia came from the tabligh cluster.
The number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) remained at 45, out of which 32 are on ventilator support.
Out of the 235 new infections today, 60 patients were related to the tabligh cluster. More than half of the total 2,031 Covid-19 cases in Malaysia, or 1,117 patients, were linked to the Muslim religious gathering in Sri Petaling mosque earlier this month.
The remaining 175 new cases are still under investigation and may be related to other clusters, the Health DG said without elaborating.
Dr Noor Hisham said MOH has had two meetings with the private health care sector to provide standard operating procedures (SOP) on Covid-19 prevention measures for private clinics and hospitals.
“Cases detected in private clinics and hospitals will be referred to MOH. But maybe we’ll reach a time where usage of ICU in public hospitals are full, then the private sector must treat patients in their own ICU. Now, positive cases are all referred to MOH hospitals,” he told a press conference today.
He also said the Covid-19 fatality rate in Malaysia is 1.1 per cent, whereas the global rate is 4.5 per cent.
“Many patients will recover,” he said. “We take time to ensure that they can recover and return to society.”
The 20th coronavirus victim (Patient 780) was a 76-year-old Malaysian man who attended the tabligh gathering in Sri Petaling. He was treated in Sultan Ismail Petra Hospital in Kelantan before passing away yesterday.
The 21st fatality (Patient 1,588) aged 63 had also joined the tabligh event. The Malaysian was hospitalised in Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital in Kedah, before he died early this morning.
The 22nd death (Patient 1,797) was a 48-year-old Malaysian man who attended the tabligh gathering and previously suffered from chronic disease. He was treated in Enche’ Besar Hajjah Khalsom Hospital in Johor and died on March 23.
The 23rd victim (Patient 1,840) was a 62-year-old Malaysian man from Kajang, Selangor, who had a history of chronic disease. He died yesterday. Health authorities are still investigating the source of his coronavirus infection.
Sixteen people recovered from Covid-19 as of today, making a total of 215 patients who recovered and were discharged from hospital.
Dr Noor Hisham stressed that public maternity and child health services, as well as immunisation, were operating as usual.
“Therefore, pregnant women are urged to do their examinations according to their appointment,” he said.
“MOH wants to stress the importance of following children’s immunisations schedule to prevent vaccine-preventable diseases.”