Malaysia reports 3,048 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths; 351 active clusters nationwide

Malaysia reports 3,048 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths; 351 active clusters nationwide

Medical worker collects a swab sample from a man to be tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19
Medical worker collects a COVID-19 swab sample from a man in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia on Jan 18, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Lim Huey Teng)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Klang Valley, comprising Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, accounted for about a third of Malaysia’s 3,048 new COVID-19 cases on Monday (Jan 25). 

There were 1,035 cases in Selangor and 305 in the capital Kuala Lumpur. A further 529 infections were found in Johor and 348 in Sabah.

Health authorities also reported 11 new deaths, which occurred in Sabah, Selangor, Sarawak, Kelantan, Pahang, Perak and Kuala Lumpur. The victims, aged 52 to 82, mostly had a history of other medical ailments. 

A total of 261 patients are in the intensive care unit, with 101 requiring respiratory support. 

Thirteen new clusters were detected – eight involving workplaces, three in the community and two involving those in the medical sector. There are now 351 active COVID-19 clusters in the country. 

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"THE END IS NOWHERE NEAR TO BE SEEN"

Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah urged Malaysians to continue observing COVID-19 safe management measures in order to break the chain of transmission. 

“It saddens me that we have endured one year of fighting against COVID-19. The end is nowhere near to be seen. However despite the mental and physical fatigue, we all need to soldier on. Everyone, no matter who u are, must shoulder this responsibility to save our country together,” he said in a tweet. 

Movement Control Order (MCO) restrictions have been applied to the whole of Malaysia except the state of Sarawak as the country continues to see high levels of new COVID-19 infections.  

Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government’s decision to implement the MCO for the second time, with some flexibility this time around, has not been easy.

However, the decision had to be made in order to strike a balance between the people’s health and the economy. 

“We do not want people to die due to COVID-19 (infections), and we also do not want them to die from not eating," he told the Bernama news agency.

He said there were parties disputing the MCO implementation for the second time which was said to be more flexible, but in a broader context, the country could go bankrupt if the MCO continues for many years.

“During the first MCO, the country lost RM2.4 billion (US$593 million) daily. The government also needs to focus on the people who depend on their daily income to make ends meet. That is why during MCO 2.0 we allow most economic sectors to operate. The welfare of the people and their safety are equally important,” he said.

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When asked whether Malaysia would succeed in flattening the COVID-19 curve after the MCO, Ismail Sabri, who is also the Defence Minister, said that the number of cases would decrease but it would take some time.

“The best way to break the COVID-19 chain is with no direct movement but for now it (public movement) is still happening. Important sectors are allowed to operate on the basis of economic interests.

“Although this MCO is not a complete lockdown, the health director-general believes it will decrease but will take some time,” he added.

As of Monday, Malaysia has reported a total of 186,849 COVID-19 cases, of which 41,076 are currently classified as active or infectious. There have also been 689 fatalities. 

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Source: CNA/Bernama/zl

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