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COVID-19 weekly round-up: No fatality for almost a fortnight

COVID-19 weekly round-up: No fatality for almost a fortnight
Dr Noor Hisham said the same approach is now being used to further control the transmission of cases among Malaysians and non-Malaysians. File picture/ Bernama
KUALA LUMPUR: COVID-19 positive cases among non-Malaysians and imported cases constituted a bulk of the new infections reported this week.

Over the last 13 days, no death was reported and the toll remains at 115 (1.39 percent of the total COVID-19 cases in the country).

After two-digit new cases were reported on Saturday (May 30, 30 cases), Sunday (57), Monday (38), Tuesday (20) and Wednesday (93), a shocking 277 new infections were reported yesterday as of noon.

Malaysians, however, heaved a sigh of relief after Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah revealed that 270 of yesterday’s new cases involved non-citizens, namely illegal immigrants detained at the Bukit Jalil Immigration Detention Depot (DTI) in Kuala Lumpur.
The remaining seven cases comprised four local transmissions among Malaysians, two imported cases and a foreigner.

According to Dr Noor Hisham, the latest developments indicated that the COVID-19 cases among Malaysian citizens have trickled down to single-digit figures.
As of noon yesterday, the cumulative COVID-19 cases in the country stood at 8,247, with active cases totalling 1,573.

Dr Noor Hisham explained that the Bukit Jalil DTI cases involved repeat samples of those detained and quarantined there and that they were previously exposed to positive cases.

As of noon yesterday, 28 more patients were discharged, bringing the total number of recovered cases to 6,559 (79.5 percent of total COVID-19 cases). Six patients are being treated in intensive care units with two of them requiring ventilator support.

Last week saw a sharp spike in new cases: May 29 (103), May 26 (187) and May 25 (172), with foreigners – including DTI detainees, security guards and workers of a cleaning company –  accounting for most of the new cases.

On May 29, 84 out of the 103 new cases reported comprised non-citizens; 177 out of 187 cases (May 26); and 159 out of 172 (May 25).

On Monday (June 1), Dr Noor Hisham said Malaysia now has to address a new challenge, which was the significant hike in COVID-19 cases among non-Malaysians, including illegal immigrants held at the various DTI.

He, however, urged Malaysians not to stigmatise the foreigners working in Malaysia, saying that “we should instead help to reduce COVID-19 infections in our country”.

The non-citizens infected by the coronavirus are from India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, China, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Cambodia, Philippines, Egypt, Laos, Nigeria, Libya and Syria.

Focused and aggressive public health measures implemented by the various district health offices have succeeded in reducing patient loads at government hospital COVID-19 wards and intensive care units.

Dr Noor Hisham said the same approach is now being used to further control the transmission of cases among Malaysians and non-Malaysians.

District health offices have always played a very important role in the implementation of various measures to prevent and control the infection, he said, adding that the measures are being implemented gradually and continuously.

One of the key actions implemented since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak is the investigation and active case detection of COVID-19 cases.

COVID-19 investigation and case detection include investigation of COVID-19 cases in the field, including their close contacts; house-to-house active case detection (ACD); targeted mass screening; drive-through sampling; and disinfection of patients’ houses and locations where ACD is carried out and other areas identified as high-risk.