KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia reported a record 11,079 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday (Jul 13), a sharp increase from already high infection levels in the past week.
This is also the first time that daily COVID-19 cases have hit five figures.
Only 27 of the new infections were imported, with the rest classified as local cases.
More than half of the new cases were once again from the Klang Valley area, with 5,263 in Selangor and 1,521 in Kuala Lumpur.
There were 1,033 new infections in neighbouring state Negeri Sembilan while Sarawak and Johor registered 472 and 406 respectively.
The health ministry also announced 125 more fatalities, aged 27 to 86, taking the national death toll to 6,385.
Sixteen of the victims were classified as "brought in dead" as they did not die in hospital.
A total of 972 patients are in the intensive care unit, yet another record. Of these, 456 require respiratory support.
The number of critically ill patients has been at record levels for more than a week, with the health ministry repeatedly stating that hospitals, frontline personnel and morgues were overwhelmed.
Twenty-three more clusters were also identified, taking the total number of active clusters in the country to 870. Thirteen of the new clusters stem from workplaces while 10 are in the community.
The health ministry said the increase in cases was partly attributed to the spread of the Delta variant.
Members of the public are encouraged to adopt double-masking especially in high risk areas as "airborne" transmission can occur, it added.
Malaysia entered its third nationwide lockdown on Jun 1, shortly after it breached the 9,000 mark for new cases for the first time on May 29.
Numbers reached record levels again on Jul 9 and Jul 10, with more than 9,100 cases on each day.
Health ministry data showed that more than 3.6 million people have so far completed the full COVID-19 vaccination regimen.
This is still short of the country's target to inoculate 80 per cent of its population, or 26.7 million out of the total 33 million people in the country.
Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah on Tuesday said vaccination was the solution to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A fully administered vaccination has been proven to decrease the likelihood of death or hospitalisation, he added.
Dr Noor Hisham said 2,779 health ministry employees tested positive for COVID-19 after they were fully vaccinated. However, a majority of them were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms.
None of the affected individuals was critically ill and those who had mild symptoms could be quarantined at home, thus reducing the number of patients in hospital, he said.
As of Tuesday, Malaysia has reported a total of 855,949 COVID-19 cases, of which 96,236 are currently active or infectious.