KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — Malaysia reported today 1,884 Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, breaking its all-time record of daily infections, exceeding even the Philippines’ daily tally today of 1,799 coronavirus cases.
The Philippines has chalked up the second-highest number of Covid-19 cases in Asean, after Indonesia, with a total of 420,614 positive Covid-19 cases as of today.
Malaysia’s total number of Covid-19 cases have gone up to 56,659 cases as of today. Singapore has reported a total of 58,165 positive Covid-19 cases, only 2.59 per cent higher than Malaysia’s cumulative infections.
Singapore, however, has been only reporting single-digit cases for the past week, all involving imported cases. If Malaysia continues to report four-digit cases, it may soon surpass Singapore.
According to the Ministry of Health (MOH) Malaysia, 76.2 per cent (1,067) of the cases reported today were from the Teratai cluster in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, linked to factories operated by Top Glove Corp Bhd, the world’s biggest glove maker that has been supplying disposable gloves to countries globally during the Covid-19 pandemic.
CNN reported last September that Top Glove produces about a quarter of gloves used globally in its 46 factories, most of which are located in Malaysia. Senior Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced earlier today that 28 Top Glove factories in Kapar, Klang, would be closed in stages to enable workers’ screening and quarantine.
A Targeted Enhanced Movement Control Order (TEMCO) has been imposed on Top Glove workers’ dormitories in Klang since November 17.
According to Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, during his daily press conference on Malaysia’s Covid-19 cases, so far, a total of 2,524 positive Covid-19 cases have been detected from the Teratai cluster so far that was first discovered about two weeks ago on November 7.
The Teratai cluster spans six districts in Selangor: Klang, Kuala Selangor, Petaling, Hulu Langat, Gombak, and Hulu Selangor, as well as Kepong and Cheras in Kuala Lumpur.
“Twelve cases were detected outside this area [factories], maybe through close contact,” Dr Noor Hisham said.
“As of today, 2,453 cases (97.2%) are factory workers. We have 71 cases (2.8%) who are close contact cases, like family getting infected etc.”
Among the 2,524 Covid-19 cases from this cluster, a total of 2,360 cases involved foreigners, Dr Noor Hisham said. The coronavirus had infected foreigners from this cluster from the age of two till 68 years old.
Meanwhile, according to MOH, 164 cases involved Malaysian workers who may not necessarily live in dorms, but may be living in their own homes and subsequently infected their families. So far, there have not been any death cases reported from this cluster.
Dr Noor Hisham said that during the staged closures of 28 Top Glove factories in Klang, Selangor, amid a TEMCO on the factories and workers’ dorms, 13,000 factory workers will be screened for Covid-19.
The average daily number of RT-PCR tests done from November 12 till November 18 nationwide by MOH was 27,123 tests. If MOH were to conduct 13,000 RT-PCR tests on the Top Glove factory workers, 48 per cent of their average testing would be used, leaving behind only 52 per cent for the rest of the nation. Although testing on the Top Glove factory workers will presumably be conducted over a period of time, it could still consume a significant amount of Malaysia’s testing capacity.
The Damanlela cluster, which contributed 105 new Covid-19 cases today, or 7.2 per cent of total infections, was originally from a construction site, involving a mall construction in Damansara, Selangor.
Moreover, a new cluster, Bintang Cluster, was also detected at a construction site today in Lembah Pantai district in Kuala Lumpur. A total of 95 individuals have tested positive from this cluster so far, including one Malaysian.
Three other new clusters were also reported today: Indah Mas cluster in Titiwangsa and Kepong in Kuala Lumpur, with the index case from a symptomatic screening; Teja Kasih cluster in Kampar and Kinta in Perak, whose index case was discovered through a symptomatic screening; and Kobena cluster in Johor Baru, Johor, whose index case had severe acute respiratory infection.
Deputy Health Minister I Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali told CodeBlue last week that only 10 per cent of individuals in TEMCO areas are tested.
However, Singapore, which has successfully brought down their positive Covid-19 cases to single digits, had tested all their migrant workers. A major proportion of Singapore’s Covid-19 cases (49,375) were detected in migrant workers. Migrant workers in Singapore live in cramped dormitories where social distancing is not possible. In Malaysia, foreign workers live in both workers’ dormitories and also rented homes.
The breakdown of Malaysia’s 1,882 locally infected cases reported today according to states is as below:
- Selangor: 1,203 cases
- Sabah: 289 cases
- Kuala Lumpur: 196 cases
- Perak: 81 cases
- Negeri Sembilan : 41 cases
- Kedah: 36 cases
- Penang: 12 cases
- Johor: 15 cases
- Kelantan: nine cases
- Putrajaya: one case
- Perlis: one case
MOH also reported two deaths today, both in Sabah, bringing the total fatalities to 337 cases.
Currently, there are 13,842 active Covid-19 cases, with 115 of them in the intensive care unit, including 48 on ventilator support.