KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia reported 103 new COVID-19 deaths on Thursday (Jun 3), marking a second consecutive day with more than 100 deaths.
This brings the COVID-19 death toll to 3,096, said health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. The country posted a record 126 fatalities on Wednesday.
READ: Malaysia’s daily COVID-19 cases may hit 13,000 by mid-June if regulations are not followed: Health ministry
DEATH TOLL COULD REACH 26,000 BY SEPTEMBER: STUDY
Malaysia is grappling with a surge of infections, and entered a total lockdown this week in a bid to curb the outbreak.
A study conducted by an American university has projected that Malaysia's COVID-19 death toll could reach 26,000 by September, Health Minister Dr Adham Baba said on Thursday.
"(The projection) is not something impossible,” he told reporters during a press conference at Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman, a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) Science Council, said on Wednesday that the projection was based on the current trajectory.
She said the study, conducted by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metric and Evaluation, also projected that Malaysia's daily death rate could hit 200 cases towards the end of August.
READ: Malaysia’s state governments and private hospitals can buy their own WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines: Khairy
During the press conference, Dr Adham said that 60 per cent of COVID-19 cases in the country were linked to people’s movements and 40 per cent to clusters.
“The virus follows people. When people move, the virus also moves,” he said.
Dr Adham also said that activities during the month of Ramadan, couriers as well as activities in various sectors were among the causes of community clusters in Malaysia.
Malaysia's two-week total lockdown, which was imposed on Jun 1, has however shown positive signs in the fight against the pandemic, said Dr Adham.
The war against the pandemic can be won, he added, provided all sectors play their role to ease the pressure on the national healthcare system.
Malaysia on Thursday recorded 8,209 new cases, including 65 imported infections.
The daily total is higher than the 7,703 reported on Wednesday and brings Malaysia's cumulative caseload to 595,374.
There are currently 880 cases in the intensive care unit, with 446 requiring respiratory assistance.
The country also recorded 7,049 new recoveries, the highest since the start of the pandemic and surpassing the previous high of 5,718 on Feb 16.