MCO day 213: ‘We are in a crisis of new cases’, says Health DG

KUALA LUMPUR, 16 Oct 2020:

The total number of new Covid-19 cases in the country remained in three digits for the 16th consecutive day with 629 cases today – apart from recording six more deaths, while 245 people recovered from the disease.

With the latest development, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the overall total in Malaysia now stands at 18,758 cases while the death toll was 176 individuals and there were 12,259 full recoveries so far.

“There are now 6,323 active cases with Covid-19 infectivity and they have been isolated and given treatment,” he said in a virtual media conference via the Ministry of Health (MoH) Facebook site today.

Sabah continued to record the highest new infections with 489 cases, following more laboratory results obtained.

He said the laboratories in Sabah conducted 3,296 tests yesterday and the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) is assisting to send 5,340 samples to Peninsular Malaysia for faster processing.

Dr Noor Hisham said for states in the Klang Valley under Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), Selangor recorded 50 new cases, Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur (eight cases) and Putrajaya (two cases).

In Penang there were 33 cases, Federal Territory of Labuan (19 cases), Perak (nine cases), Kedah (seven cases), Johor (five cases), Melaka (three cases) and one case each in Negeri Sembilan and Pahang.

He said 627 cases were local transmissions involving 577 Malaysians and 50 foreigners, while the two import cases reported involved Malaysians returning from New Zealand and Singapore.

“For local transmissions, 16 cases were visitors who returned from Sabah, which brings the number of cases with history of travelling to Sabah since Sept 20 to 437 cases.”

On the new fatalities, he said five were recorded in Sabah involving Malaysians and one foreigner in Kuala Lumpur.

Dr Noor Hisham said in Sabah, death case number 171st was a 66-year-old man in Queen Elizabeth Hospital who had hypertension, diabetes and stroke, the 172nd death was a 72-year-old man in the Duchess of Kent Hospital with heart disease and fatality number 173rd was a man, 39, in Semporna Hospital who was suffering from stroke.

Death case number 174th and 175th were from Queen Elizabeth Hospital involving a 74-year-old woman who had high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney problem and a man, 67, with hypertension, heart disease and stroke.

At Universiti Malaya Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, death number 176th involved a foreign man , 52, with diabetes, heart disease. psoriasis and spinal problem.”

He said 99 individuals who are positive for Covid-19 are being treated at the intensive care unit – with 31 of them requiring respiratory assistance.

Facing a crisis of rising new Covid-19 cases to alarming figures, especially in Sabah, MoH has adopted the ‘whole-of-government’ and ‘whole-of-society’ approaches to curb its spread.

Dr Noor Hisham said additional manpower was needed at this juncture to carry out health activities at 19 low-risk quarantine centres and public health activities in the field in the state.

As such, he said the ‘whole-of-government’ approach – which referred to the internal manpower of MoH – and the ‘whole-of-society’ approach – involving volunteers – are very important to flatten the curve of the Covid-19 infection.

“We are in a crisis of new cases which are increasing every day, for example, in Sabah. Under normal circumstances, we have enough manpower to provide health services. But now, we are in crisis. This is the time to increase the manpower resources.”

At the same time, he said MoH also welcomed the participation of volunteers from non-governmental organisations or using the ‘whole-of-non governmental organisations’ in assisting MoH medical teams.

To date, Sabah continued to record the highest number of new cases at 489 cases, after more laboratory results were obtained.

Commenting further, he said, until now, a total 767 MoH staff from various categories had been sent to Sabah.

“For the internal MoH staff in Sabah, 492 medical personnel and 52 public health personnel have been mobilised to the state since last month. Meanwhile, 175 medical personnel and 48 public health personnel from other states are also involved.”

On the Home Surveillance and Observation Order (HSO), Dr Noor Hisham reminded close contacts to undergo a 14-day quarantine period even though the first Covid-19 screening result was negative.

“We advise them to monitor their health using the MySejahtera application within 14 days. This is important because what we found, 75% of cases were positive on the first day of quarantine while another 25% were positive on the 13th day.”

– Bernama