KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — Malaysia today broke its Covid-19 death toll record with 47 fatalities in the past 24 hours after a high of 45 deaths yesterday.
The country’s previous Covid-19 death toll daily record was 44 fatalities reported on May 15, three days ago. Malaysia’s cumulative coronavirus death toll has hit 1,994 fatalities.
A total of 4,865 new coronavirus infections were reported today, the highest since January 31 with 5,298 cases.
Among the 47 Covid-19 deaths reported today, Selangor comprised the most at 18 fatalities, followed by five deaths each in Sarawak and Penang; four deaths each in Johor, Kuala Lumpur, and Kelantan; three fatalities in Perak; two in Pahang; and one each in Kedah and Negeri Sembilan.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah estimated a spike in Covid-19 infections like what has been happening in other countries, due to more transmissible variants in the community.
“This is because these VOC (variants of concern) are linked with a higher transmission and fatality rate,” he said in a statement, without giving further evidence on exactly which variant was linked with a purported higher fatality rate in Malaysia.
He warned the public that most government and private hospitals, as well as low-risk Covid-19 quarantine and treatment centres (PKRC), nationwide have almost reached full capacity.
In addition, an increasing number of positive Covid-19 cases have required treatment in intensive care units (ICU) and ventilator support in the past few weeks.
“Aside from boosting the country’s health care capacity, MOH wishes to encourage the general public to restrict their movements voluntarily, especially during the MCO (Movement Control Order), to break the chain of Covid-19 transmission in our country,” Dr Noor Hisham said.
“Employers are also encouraged to give approval to employees to work from home and to limit the number of workers in the office at any given time.”
He advised the public not to receive visitors at home, to exercise in the compounds of one’s home, and to self-isolate at home if one has been listed on the MySejahtera app as a casual contact, person under surveillance, suspected case, or confirmed case; if one is waiting for Covid-19 test results; if one has been identified as a close contact and is waiting for a call from the district health office; or if one has tested positive for Covid-19 and is waiting for a call from the district health office.
The 47 Covid-19 deaths reported today included eight who were brought in dead before they could seek medical treatment: five in Selangor, two in Perak, and one in Kuala Lumpur. The 47 victims were aged between 33 and 94, comprising 26 men and 21 women.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) reported today 4,865 new Covid-19 cases. The highest number of new confirmed infections were reported in Selangor (1,743), followed by Sarawak (512), Kuala Lumpur (477), Johor (407), Kelantan (406), Kedah (244), Penang (220), Perak (160), Terengganu (156), Pahang (152), Negeri Sembilan (149), Melaka (127), Sabah (95), Putrajaya (nine), Labuan (six), and Perlis (two).
Active Covid-19 cases under surveillance have reached 44,827 cases. A total of 531 Covid-19 patients are being treated in intensive care units (ICU), while 277 are on ventilator support.