Malaysia reports more than 6,000 new COVID-19 cases for third consecutive day as ICUs near capacity
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia on Friday (May 21) reported more than 6,000 new COVID-19 cases for the third consecutive day, as intensive care units (ICUs) in the country continue to struggle with the influx of patients.
Many of the 6,493 new COVID-19 cases were from the Klang Valley area. Selangor reported 2,163 cases while 641 were found in Kuala Lumpur.
There were 406 new cases in Johor, 612 in Sarawak, 302 in Penang and 370 in Negeri Sembilan.
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The health ministry also announced 50 new COVID-19 fatalities comprising 49 citizens and a foreigner. The victims were aged 35 to 86 and many of them suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure.
The number of critical cases or patients in the ICUs has also reached a record level of 643 people. Of these, 363 require respiratory support.
Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said as of May 20, the national occupancy rate for ICUs stood at 83 per cent.
“The national health system is facing a tremendous amount of pressure and requires your help to break the COVID-19 chain of transmission,” he said in a tweet on Friday morning.
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Health authorities also identified 18 new clusters, bringing the total number of active clusters to 529. Ten of them are linked to workplaces while five stemmed from religious gatherings. Three other clusters are classified as being in the community.
As of Friday, Malaysia has reported a total of 498,795 COVID-19 cases, of which 52,106 are currently active or infectious. There have been 2,149 fatalities since the start of the pandemic.