KUALA LUMPUR, August 24 — Selangor has recorded the highest number of Covid-19 deaths in Malaysia at 24, representing about 19 per cent of the country’s total 125 fatalities from coronavirus.
According to Deputy Health Minister Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali in Parliament today, the worst Covid-19 death toll in Malaysia’s most developed state was followed by Johor (21 deaths), Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya (19 deaths), Sarawak (19 deaths), and Negri Sembilan (eight deaths).
He did not name the other states that recorded coronavirus victims, nor explained why more people died from Covid-19 in the urban state of Selangor compared to other states. Covid-19 is believed to hit elderly people above the age of 60 particularly hard, who have higher risk of developing severe disease from the virus.
The Bagan Serai MP also told the Dewan Rakyat, without further elaboration, that as of August 23, Malaysia recorded 125 deaths caused by Covid-19, comprising 119 Malaysians and six foreigners, marking a 1.35 per cent fatality rate in coronavirus cases.
“Of the 125 deaths, a total of four deaths were reported among frontliners, who were also health care workers. However, three of these cases were staff who became infected while visiting a foreign country,” Dr Noor Azmi said in Dewan Rakyat during Question Time today.
Initially, Sabak Bernam MP Mohd Fasiah Mohd Fakeh (Bersatu) had asked the health minister to state the latest status of Covid-19 cases in the country in terms of the number of cases, including those who have died, patients in the intensive care unit (ICU), and recoveries among Malaysians and foreigners.
He also asked the minister to state the effectiveness of the Movement Control Order (MCO) that was implemented by the government to curb the spread of the Covid-19 infection.
Dr Noor Azmi stated that as of August 23, the country recorded 9,267 Covid-19 positive cases comprising 6,530 citizens and 2,737 foreigners. Of these, a total of 8,959 cases among 6,276 Malaysians and 2,683 foreigners had recovered from coronavirus and were discharged from the hospital. That brings the recovery rate to 96.68 per cent.
A total of 306 cases were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) as of August 23, comprising 287 Malaysians and 19 foreigners, marking a 3.3 per cent ICU admission rate in Covid-19 cases.
Dr Noor Azmi also stated that the MCO, which was first implemented since March 18, followed by the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) and Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), has paved the way for the government to implement various public health activities and actions to effectively curb the spread of Covid-19 infection.
“Apart from the strict international border control measures, the MCO phases in particular also implemented movement control between states in Malaysia and control over group activities. This drastic action has led to a maximum decrease in recorded active Covid-19 cases, which eventually flattened the epidemiological curve.”
According to Dr Noor Azmi, at the beginning of the first and second phases of the MCO, an average of 142 coronavirus cases were reported per day. Since the RMCO came into effect on June 10, the average number of new cases dropped to 15 cases per day.
The maximum number of deaths in the initial phase of the MCO was seven cases per day on March 29, and now the maximum number of Covid-19 fatalities is only one case per day.
“Tackling this epidemiological curve gives the country an opportunity to manage the Covid-19 pandemic in the best possible way without putting too much burden on our health care system and hence, prevention and control of the Covid-19 disease can be carried out more effectively,” mentioned Dr Noor Azmi.
The Ministry of Health has been provided an allocation of RM1 billion. According to Dr Noor Azmi, MOH has spent a total of RM720 million as of August 7 for the purchase of equipment, medical supplies, consumable items like personal protective equipment (PPE), test kits and other services.