KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia reported a record high of 6,075 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday (May 19), as the country continues to battle a third wave of infections.
This is the first time Malaysia’s new daily COVID-19 caseload has breached the 6,000 mark. The country’s previous record was 5,728 new COVID-19 cases on Jan 30, according to the health ministry.
A majority of the new cases were in the Klang Valley area: 2,251 in Selangor and 660 in Kuala Lumpur.
There were 699 new cases in Johor, 445 in Kedah and 441 in Kelantan. Sarawak and Penang reported 323 and 183 cases respectively.
Only three cases reported on Wednesday were imported infections. The rest are in the community.
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RECORD NUMBER OF ICU PATIENTS
There were also 46 new COVID-19 fatalities, bringing the total death toll since the start of the pandemic to 2,040. This comes just one day after Malaysia logged a record 47 deaths.
The victims were 45 citizens and a foreigner, aged 25 to 91. Many of them had a medical history of high blood pressure and diabetes.
There are currently 559 patients in the intensive care unit. This is the highest number of critical cases to date, health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said in his daily report. Of these, 303 require respiratory support.
Twenty-two new clusters were identified, also a new daily record. Eight of them are from workplaces while seven are in the community. Six clusters are related to religious gatherings and one is linked to an education institution.
Malaysia now has a total of 516 active clusters.
As of Wednesday, Malaysia has reported a total of 485,496 COVID-19 cases, with 47,340 of these currently classified as active.
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Health authorities in recent days have implored members of the public to stay at home and minimise non-essential activities.
“Our clinicians voiced their helplessness and frustration, (and are) struggling to secure ICU beds for their patients in these unprecedented times,” Dr Noor Hisham tweeted on Sunday.
Intensive care units are overwhelmed by the demand for more beds every day, not just for COVID-19 patients but also for many critical non-coronavirus cases, he added.