KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia reported 4,008 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday (Jan 20), the country’s second highest daily tally since the start of the pandemic.
Malaysia previously reported a record 4,029 cases on Jan 16 and has registered four-digit daily increases in COVID-19 infections for more than a month.
About half of the cases on Wednesday were from the Klang Valley area – Selangor reported 1,391 cases while Kuala Lumpur had 513 infections. There were also 470 cases in Johor and 406 in Sabah.
There were 11 new fatalities, comprising nine citizens and two foreigners aged 42 to 90. The deaths occurred in Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor and Johor, with most of the patients having suffered from preexisting conditions.
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The health ministry also identified 16 new clusters - 11 involving workplaces and five in the community. There are currently 318 active clusters in Malaysia.
One of the community clusters - the Jalan Niaga cluster in the Johor districts of Kota Tinggi and Kluang - involved the distribution of aid to flood victims. The first case in this cluster is a 35-year-old Malaysian man who tested positive on Jan 17. The cluster now has a total of 18 confirmed infections.
In Sabah, the Kampung Balibata cluster has grown to a total of 35 infections. The cluster in the Beaufort and Sandakan areas involved a burial and funeral activities. Its first case was a 47-year-old Malaysian man who tested positive on Jan 12. He was tested before he travelled to Selangor, said the health ministry.
Another community cluster was found in Pahang after a 29-year-old Malaysian woman tested positive on Jan 14. The first case in the Sawmill Luit cluster reported a fever, cough, sore throat, headaches and a loss of taste and smell from Jan 4. She had previously travelled from Kuala Lumpur on Dec 29. The cluster now has a total of 19 cases.
A total of 246 patients remain in the intensive care unit with 96 requiring respiratory support.
Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said frontline workers are facing “an uphill battle at every turn”.
“Our country depends on us despite our fatigue. Hold your head up high, chin up, brace your shoulders and eyes forward, let’s shoulder the responsibility for the sake of our loved ones, community and country,” he said in a tweet on Wednesday.
The whole country, with the exception of Sarawak, will come under the expanded Movement Control Order (MCO) from this Friday. Under these restrictions, residents are not allowed out, except for two people from one household for daily necessities. A national ban on interstate travel is also in force until Jan 26.
As of Wednesday, Malaysia has reported a total of 169,379 COVID-19 cases, of which 41,087 are considered active or infectious. There have also been 630 deaths.