KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 — Authorities will impose total lockdowns in particular districts that experience a spike in coronavirus infections, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said today.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said Enhanced Movement Control Orders (EMCO), under which residents are prohibited from leaving their homes, have so far been imposed in Batu 21 to Batu 24 Sungai Lui, Hulu Langat, Selangor, and two villages in Simpang Renggam, Kluang, Johor.
Dr Noor Hisham said the number of Covid-19 cases in Maahad Tahfiz An-Nabawiyyah, a Muslim residential religious school in Batu 23 Sungai Lui, has increased from 71 to 91, upon monitoring by health authorities the past two days.
A third EMCO was imposed — this time on Menara City One in Jalan Munshi Abdullah in Kuala Lumpur, Senior Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today, citing information from health authorities about 17 Covid-19 cases in the high-rise building.
“If there is a spike in an area, we have to take drastic action; if not, the virus will spread in the community,” Dr Noor Hisham told a press conference.
“Our action is based on daily monitoring of cases. If there is a surge in cases, we will quickly impose an enhanced MCO.”
He said the Hulu Langat cluster was likely connected to the tabligh gathering at Sri Petaling mosque here earlier this month.
“If we look, in a month, participants of the tabligh gathering have spread the disease to the second, third, and even fifth generation. Some of the positive cases may be staying in Hulu Langat or Kampung Sungai Lui.”
According to the DG, Hulu Langat has 271 coronavirus cases.
Other hotspots in the area with more than 40 cases, according to MOH earlier today, are Petaling, Selangor (223 cases); Lembah Pantai, Kuala Lumpur (219); and Seremban, Negri Sembilan (108); Johor Baru, Johor (105). Malaysia has a total of 15 red zones in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Negri Sembilan, Johor, Perak, and Sabah.
8Pc Positive Rate, No Exponential Spike Yet
Dr Noor Hisham said Malaysia has yet to see an exponential spike of Covid-19 cases numbering between 900 and 1,000 in a day.
In the last two weeks, the country has been averaging at between 150 and 200 daily new infections. According to MOH on March 29, however, 8,213 people are still awaiting their coronavirus test results. Out of a total of 37,674 individuals who have been tested, 6.6 per cent, or 2,470 people, tested positive, while 26,991 tested negative.
“That’s because we are having active case detection. We continue to go to the community and target high-risk groups, targeted approach, and test them. There will be some cases detected as positive,” he said, revealing that Malaysia’s positive rate in testing was 8 per cent.
Despite the absence of an exponential growth in Covid-19 infections, the DG said MOH has prepared thousands of beds.
The number of beds for Covid-19 patients has increased to 3,994, while MOH training institutes are also being turned into quarantine and treatment centres with 1,937 beds. Other facilities have also been identified, like the Malaysian Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) with 600-bed capacity, totalling 6,531 beds.
MOH has also increased the number of coronavirus-screening hospitals to 70 nationwide, from 57 previously.
The number of hospitals treating Covid-19 has increased from 26 to 38, through cooperation with the Malaysian Armed Forces and Universiti Malaya Medical Centre. Seven of those hospitals are facilities that specifically treat coronavirus.