MCO day 384: Daily new Covid-19 cases at 1,070

PUTRAJAYA, 5 April 2021:

Covid-19 infections rose by another 1,070 today, raising Malaysia’s overall tally to 352,029 cases, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

This was trumped by 1,294 discharges for 336,456 recoveries overall (95.6%). The 14,278 active case includes 180 at intensive care units and 89 needing ventilators.

There were four Malaysians among the nine imported cases, with local transmissions made up of 904 citizens (85.2%) and 157 foreigners.

Selangor was again leading with most new cases at 327, followed by Sarawak (225) and Penang (133). Least new cases were recorded in Perlis (2), Terengganu (3) and Putrajaya (8); all other states charted double digit additions.

The death toll rose by seven today – all locals; four in Selangor, two in Sabah and one in Johor – raising total fatalities to 1,295.

The six new clusters identified today included one community-based in Kedah (Bukit Sera) while the others are workplace-related in Selangor (Lorong Dua and Taman Komersial), Melaka (Jalan Mata Kuching), Negeri Sembilan (Persiaran Utama) plus the Jalan Inovasi cluster straddling Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

The 10 clusters ended today leave 355 still active out of the 1,411 identified todate.

Dr Noor Hisham also expressed concern as Malaysia’s Covid-19 infectivity rate has risen past 1,0 based on basic reproduction number R-naught (R0) as the indicator.

In a Facebook post, he said the R) had risen since it was at 0.9 on March 19 – exceeding the 1.0 level on April 3 and 4. This means, every Covid-19 positive person is passing the virus infection to an equal number of other individuals and more.

Noting the R0 had been as high as 3.5 during the first Movement Control Order (MCO) back in March 2020, this infectivity rate was earlier brought down to 0.3 with strict compliance of standard operating procedures and social distancing.

Dr Noor Hisham reiterated the aim to bring the R0 level to at least 0.5 to break the chains of Covid-19 infection and contain the virus spread.

Meanwhile, the second phase for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme will start on April 19 – covering senior citizens, persons with disabilities and those with chronic diseases.

Science, Innovation and Technology Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today said potential vaccine recipients would be notified of their appointment dates through the MySejahtera application from today.

Such notifications will be sent out at least 14 days before the vaccination appointment date plus reminders sent three days and one day in advance via SMS and calls, he said at a joint press conference with Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

As attendance is compulsory for those who have registered and confirmed they want to receive the vaccine, he said the government is now mulling if it should be made compulsory for employers to grant leave for their staff to keep vaccination appointment dates.