KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 — Fifty per cent of Covid-19 cases reported in Malaysia over the past month had symptoms, an increase from 27 per cent back in March this year, Dr Adham Baba said today.
The health minister urged people to get tested for Covid-19 if they have symptoms like fever, loss of sense of taste and smell, and body aches.
“While awaiting test results, individuals should self-isolate. All close contacts to positive cases must get tested for Covid-19 and self-isolate for at least 10 days from their last contact with the positive case.
“Before you get a call from the district health office, stay at home and monitor your health status with the health assessment tool on MySejahtera.”
He added that an average of 71,170 coronavirus tests were done daily in the 18th epidemiological week from May 2 to 8, or 498,193 tests throughout the week, marking a 3.6 per cent increase from the previous week of April 25 to May 1.
Dr Adham said Malaysia’s lab capacity for Covid-19 tests has hit 104,885 tests daily; the highest capacity is in private laboratories that can process 76,800 tests a day.
“We will continue to increase lab capacity, especially when cases rise and when cases need to be tested in the field after close contact tracing,” he said, as he urged employers to allow workers to work from home while awaiting test results.
Malaysia’s positive rate (share of tests that are positive) hit 5.1 per cent in the week of May 2 to 8, an increase from 4.4 per cent the previous week. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a positive rate of below 5 per cent for at least two weeks before countries consider reopening.
A total of 25,350 new Covid-19 cases were reported in the past week from May 2 to 8, marking an 18.8 per cent increase from 21,342 infections detected in the previous week.
Covid-19 deaths in the week of May 2 to 8 shot up by 43.2 per cent to hit 136 fatalities from 95 the previous week.
New Covid-19 clusters increased by 23.3 per cent from 86 detected in the week of April 25 to May 1, to 106 clusters in the past week from May 2 to 8.
Workplace clusters formed the majority, or 44, of the 106 clusters detected the past week, followed by community (33), education (19), religious activity (eight), and one each from a detention centre and high-risk group.
The number of new workplace and community clusters increased by 83.3 per cent and 32 per cent respectively from the 17th to 18th epidemiological week.
Dr Adham also said that currently, 540 confirmed, suspected, and probable Covid-19 cases are in the intensive care unit (ICU), while 300 of such patients are on ventilator support. (The Ministry of Health’s daily reports only list confirmed Covid-19 cases in ICU and on ventilator support).
He added that there is an average 67 per cent bed occupancy rate across Covid-19 hospital beds with 4,886 confirmed, suspected, and probable Covid-19 cases. Currently, 49 per cent of 11,403 beds in low-risk quarantine and treatment centres (PKRC) are filled, as well as 7 per cent of 3,100 beds in detention centres.