SINGAPORE: Malaysia posted a record 21,668 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday (Aug 12), a week after the country's daily caseload first crossed the 20,000 mark.
Infections continued to surge in the Klang Valley, with Selangor topping the list of states with 6,278 new infections, while Kuala Lumpur posted 2,436 new cases.
Two states – Kedah and Sabah – also passed the 2,000 mark with 2,143 and 2,052 new infections respectively, according to figures released by the health ministry.
New cases exceeded the 1,000 mark in three states – Johor with 1,706, Penang with 1,229 and Sarawak with 1,216.
There were also 972 new infections in Kelantan, 930 in Perak, 899 in Negeri Sembilan, 629 in Pahang, 594 in Terengganu and 494 in Melaka.
Malaysia has reported 1,342,215 COVID-19 infections since the start of the pandemic.
The country has administered more than 25.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Wednesday.
More than 16.3 million people have received at least a first dose of a vaccine, of whom about 9.5 million have received two doses, according to the health ministry.
PREGNANT WOMEN URGED TO GET VACCINATED
Malaysia's health ministry on Thursday urged pregnant women to get vaccinated to reduce the risk of complications if infected with the virus.
There have been 70 deaths due to COVID-19 complications involving pregnant women as of Aug 9, compared with no such deaths reported in 2020, said health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah in a Facebook post.
He added that the average number of COVID-19 deaths involving pregnant women from January to May was two per month, but there has been a sharp increase since June, with 17 fatalities.
“Data shows that two of the total number of cases received the first dose of a vaccine while the other 15 cases had not received the vaccine, with 47 per cent of the deaths reported to have co-morbidities,” he said.
A total of 3,396 COVID-19 cases among pregnant women were reported between March last year and June this year, added Dr Noor Hisham.
The number of infections reported among pregnant women increased from October last year, with an average of 200 a month, surging to 850 in May and 899 in June.
The percentage of pregnant women infected with COVID-19 who received intensive care also rose from 3 per cent on Jul 10 to 5.3 per cent on Aug 7, he said.
Dr Noor Hisham added that an analysis showed that the proportion of infected pregnant women receiving intensive care among critical COVID-19 patients was one in 20, much higher than the ratio of infected pregnant women in the general population, which was one in 220.
He said it was estimated that almost 1 per cent of pregnant women in Malaysia were infected with the coronavirus.
Since vaccinations for pregnant women started in June, 146,759 pregnant women have registered for COVID-19 vaccinations as of Aug 8, he added.
Of this number, 57 per cent have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 20 per cent have been fully vaccinated with both doses.
According to Dr Noor Hisham, based on the estimated number of pregnant women a year, the percentage who have registered for the vaccination is still low, at 40 per cent.