KUALA LUMPUR: The number of daily COVID-19 cases in Malaysia returned to double digits on Wednesday (Aug 19), with 16 new cases reported.
Twelve of the new cases were local transmissions and four were imported cases, said health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah.
This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia to 9,235 and the number of active cases to 185.
Seven of the new cases were from Kedah, namely two from the Sala cluster and one from the Tawar cluster.
READ: COVID-19 virus mutation that is '10 times' more infectious detected in Malaysia: Health director-general
“Meanwhile, Penang had four cases from the Tawar cluster and one case in Johor, namely from a screening conducted on ships in Johor ... the case has been admitted to Hospital Enche Besar Hajjah Khalsom,” he said in a media statement on Wednesday.
Dr Noor Hisham added that another 23 patients have recovered from the coronavirus, taking the total number of recoveries to 8,925.
VACCINE SHOULD BE FREE FOR ALL MALAYSIANS: MINISTER
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said on Wednesday that his ministry will recommend to the Cabinet that the COVID-19 vaccine should be provided free to all Malaysians.
"The Cabinet has not decided yet, but my recommendation is that once we have purchased the COVID-19 vaccine, they should be given to all Malaysians free of charge," he said at a press conference.
Malaysia is in talks with China over a potential memorandum of understanding to ensure access to a COVID-19 vaccine when it is safe to use, said Khairy earlier this month.
The minister said on Wednesday that Malaysia is also looking at other vaccine manufacturers. He added that his ministry has been assigned by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to negotiate directly with vaccine manufacturers so that Malaysia would be able to purchase doses at the best possible price.