KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 — Health authorities reported 287 new Covid-19 cases today, all locally transmitted, the highest daily tally since the beginning of the pandemic in Malaysia last January.
This came after yesterday’s daily rise of 260 new Covid-19 cases, which was then the highest since June 4 that reported 277 cases after a strict nationwide lockdown was lifted.
In just six days after the two-week Sabah state election campaign, active Covid-19 cases have almost doubled to 1,540 from 851 on September 26, with a total of 11,771 total cases officially reported in the country as of today. About 30 per cent (85 cases) of 287 new Covid-19 cases reported today were unlinked, whose sources of transmission were unknown.
The spike of cases reported today were mainly recorded in Kedah (129 cases) and Sabah (113 cases), followed by Selangor which reported 31 cases today.
It was noted that less than 10 per cent (20 cases) of the 287 cases reported today had a history of travel to Sabah. Thirteen of them were reported in Selangor, two in Perak, one in Terengganu, one in Kelantan, two in Negeri Sembilan, and one in Labuan.
Out of the 129 cases reported in Kedah, 128 of them were from the Tembok cluster in Alor Star, which was reported in a prison, while one case was detected in Kedah from a close contact screening of Patient 11,471. The Tembok cluster had also spread to Perak, infecting one individual.
Out of the 113 cases detected in Sabah, 52 of them were detected with Covid-19 during a symptomatic screening.
A total of 35 new Covid-19 cases in Sabah today were detected from the Benteng LD cluster, 15 from the Bangau-bangau cluster, one from the Laut cluster, and one from the Pulau cluster.
Sabah reported 60 sporadic cases, including the 52 spotted from a symptomatic screening. Two cases were detected in a hospital referral screening, two from a hospital admission screening,, one from a severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) screening, one from a health care worker screening, one during a elderly screening at Tuaran health clinic, one during a screening before returning to Peninsula, and one during a community screening in Lahad Datu.
Two new clusters were reported in Selangor today — Seri Anggerik cluster and Seri Setia cluster. The index cases of these two clusters are both men in their 30s with a history of travel to Sabah.
The index case (Patient 10,927) of the Seri Setia cluster that was identified in Seri Setia, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur was a 36-year-old man with a history of travelling to Semporna, Sabah, from September 16 to September 20. He had been experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 since September 21 and was detected with Covid-19 on September 27. This cluster has detected four positive Covid-19 cases to date.
The Seri Anggerik cluster was identified in Hulu Selangor. The index case (Patient 10,776), a 37-year old-male, travelled to Sabah from September 9 to September 18. He started having symptoms on September 25 and upon screening, he was detected with Covid-19 on September 26. The Seri Anggerik cluster has 14 positive Covid-19 cases so far.
The other cases reported in Selangor were from Jalan Meru cluster (three cases), close contact screening (two cases), SARI screening (one case), detainee screening (one case), pre-departure screening before going overseas (one case), and pre departure screening before returning to home country (one case).
On September 30, Dr Noor Hisham said that the infection rate in Selangor is higher than Sabah, as the R0 value (pronounced R-naught) value in Selangor was 1.95 on September 29, higher than Sabah’s R0 value of 1.26. A 1.95 R0 value means that one infected person on average will transmit the disease to 1.95 people.
Meanwhile, in Terengganu, three cases were reported today. Two cases were detected during a close contact screening of Patient 11,477, while one was a returnee from Sabah.
The Jalan Meru cluster has also infected one individual from Johor. Pahang also reported one case today, a close contact of Patient 11,200.
MOH also reported two cases in Kelantan, out of which one was a returnee from Sabah and one from the Jalan Meru cluster.
The case reported in Kuala Lumpur involved an individual who was returning back to their home country.
MOH reported 1,540 active cases today including 22 of them in the intensive care unit with four of them on ventilator support. The death toll remains at 136 as no new casualties were reported today.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah told a press conference yesterday that the surge of Covid-19 cases could probably mean that Malaysia is seeing a new wave, citing the similar sudden rise in Covid-19 cases that was also seen in other countries.
However, he assured the public that since the Ministry of Health (MOH) now has better experience in handling this situation, the epidemiological curve can be flattened again.