KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia on Friday (Jan 8) reported its highest daily death toll since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 16 deaths, all citizens, were in Johor, Sabah and Selangor. The youngest fatality was a 44-year-old man in Kluang who had a history of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.
A total of 2,643 new COVID-19 cases were also reported.
The Klang Valley area, comprising Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, accounted for about half of the new cases with 1,368 infections.
This was followed by Sabah and Johor with 401 and 298 cases respectively.
Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said 170 patients are in the intensive care unit, with 82 requiring ventilators.
Six new clusters were also detected on Friday, four of them involving workplaces.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin is set to make an announcement on Monday regarding the escalating COVID-19 situation.
Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Friday said the government was constantly monitoring the COVID-19 situation.
"The government is studying and evaluating the actions that need to be taken immediately to control the spread of COVID-19, including possible tightening of the standard operating procedure for the social sector to reduce movements and risk of COVID-19," he said.
Ismail Sabri added that the government was aware of the people's grouses, concerns and suggestions regarding the spike in cases and understood the burden faced by healthcare workers.
Malaysia has has seen four-digit daily increases in new COVID-19 cases for more than two weeks as it battles to contain a resurgence of the disease.
The country reported a record 3,027 new cases on Thursday, its biggest daily increase since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
As of Friday, Malaysia has reported a total of 131,108 COVID-19 cases and 537 deaths.