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Malaysia reports 20,889 new COVID-19 cases, breaking record for 3rd straight day

Malaysia reports 20,889 new COVID-19 cases, breaking record for 3rd straight day

A health worker (L) in Malaysia uses a swab to collect a sample for COVID-19 testing from a man on Apr 22, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Mohd Rasfan)

SINGAPORE: Malaysia reported 20,889 new COVID-19 cases on Friday (Aug 6), breaking its record for daily infections for a third consecutive day.  

The country's cumulative total number of infections now stands at 1,224,595, according to data released by the health ministry.

Selangor recorded the highest number of new cases among states at 8,792, while Kuala Lumpur added 2,483 infections. Altogether, the Klang Valley accounted for more than half of Friday's caseload.

Three other states recorded more than 1,000 infections - Sabah with 1,291, Kedah with 1,371 and Johor with 1,275.

New cases were in the three digits in eight states, with 986 in Negeri Sembilan, 938 in Kelantan, 776 in Penang, 652 in Sarawak, 624 in Perak, 610 in Pahang, 491 in Melaka and 460 in Terengganu. Putrajaya also recorded 122 new infections.

COVID-19 infections have surged in Malaysia in recent weeks, with the country's daily case counting crossing the 20,000 mark for the first time on Thursday.

MOST "BROUGHT IN DEAD" PATIENTS NEVER DIAGNOSED WITH COVID-19

Malaysia's health ministry said on Friday that 80 per cent of COVID-19 cases who were "brought in dead" were never diagnosed with the disease.

Deputy health director-general Chong Chee Kheong said the patients either had no access to diagnosis or had never come forward to be tested.

"We found a big proportion of them are non-Malaysians," he said at a press conference on Malaysia's COVID-19 situation.

Dr Chong said that out of the 1,000 deaths reported weekly, about 80 to 100 were "brought in dead" cases. The number of such cases has been rising consistently over the last few weeks, he added.

To address the situation, virtual COVID-19 assessment centres were activated a week ago to ensure an efficient management response, said Dr Chong.

The virtual assessment centres allow people who have tested positive but are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms to undergo home isolation and be monitored via a home assessment tool, instead of going to a physical COVID-19 assessment centre.

Dr Chong said that 60 per cent of people infected with the virus in Malaysia are asymptomatic, while around 30 per cent have mild symptoms.

"Only 5 to 10 per cent need to be assessed physically and there are the people who need to come to (the COVID-19 assessment centre)," he said.

The virtual assessment centres were a way of ensuring the asymptomatic cases would not congest hospitals and physical assessment centres, he added.

Dr Chong, who is also the commander of the Greater Klang Valley Special Task Force, also said that industry players have agreed to meet requirements to prevent more outbreaks at their workplaces.

He said that while the key to preventing outbreaks was vaccination, employers must also get their employees who are symptomatic tested for COVID-19 and provide them access to panel clinics.

If there are positive cases, employers must isolate the close contacts and take care of their welfare by providing food and aid while in isolation, he said.

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Source: AGENCIES/dv(gs)

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