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COVID-19: Malaysia reports 170 new cases, almost 50% recovery rate

COVID-19: Malaysia reports 170 new cases, almost 50% recovery rate

An empty street is seen in front of Petronas Twin Towers after Malaysia's government announced the movement control order due to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Malaysia. (Photo: Reuters/Lim Huey Teng)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia reported 220 more COVID-19 recoveries on Tuesday (Apr 14) bringing the total number of recoveries to 2,478, almost 50 per cent of the total positive cases.

Ministry of Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah in a press conference said all 2,478 have recovered and been discharged. He stressed that the number of recoveries again exceeded the number of new cases.

“As of 12pm on Tuesday, there were 170 new cases, bringing the total number of positive cases to 4,987.

“A total of 60 people are being treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and 30 of them need the ventilator,” he said.

READ: Malaysia left with 2 weeks worth of personal protective equipment for hospitals

Dr Noor Hisham then announced that there were a total of five deaths on Apr 14 bringing the total number of fatalities to 82.

Four of the deaths involved Malaysians who had either diabetes, a kidney condition, high blood pressure or a heart condition.

The director-general during the press conference reiterated that those with pre-existing illnesses were more prone to having the virus become fatal.

Workers wearing protective suits pray before a disinfection operation, during the movement control order due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia April 1, 2020. REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng


Dr Noor Hisham then added that the ministry was planning to add five more labs to increase its daily testing capacity from the current 11,500 to the targeted 16,500.

“We are planning to add five more labs in Tawau, Miri, Bintulu, Sandakan and Kluang,” he said adding that there were currently 43 operational labs testing COVID-19 samples daily.

On Apr 7, Dr Noor Hisham had said that Malaysia did between 9,000 and 10,000 tests daily and that the maximum testing capacity was at 11,500.

READ: Elderly woman dies alone in Malaysia, family in Singapore struggles with funeral arrangements amid COVID-19 restrictions

He had said RT-PCR tests to detect COVID-19 take at least six hours, and with volume, the processing time goes beyond 24 hours, sometimes more than 48 hours. That also excludes the time needed to transport samples to the lab.

He also added that an accurate antigen rapid test kit used at the point of care, which can deliver reports within an hour, would be able to cut the number of pending test results.

To date Malaysia has tested rapid test kits from China and South Korea. However, Dr Noor Hisham said that neither could deliver the desired results as both only provided 50 per cent accuracy as opposed to the targeted 70 per cent.

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Source: CNA/kd(mn)


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