KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia reported a total of five deaths related to COVID-19 on Saturday (Mar 21), bringing the national death toll to eight.
The latest fatalities reported at about 7pm on Saturday evening were a 69-year-old Malaysian man linked to the cluster involving a mass religious gathering in capital Kuala Lumpur, and a 57-year-old Malaysian man who had been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case who had attended the religious gathering, and also had travel history to Vietnam.
The 69-year-old man was admitted to Kelantan's Tumpat Hospital on Mar 16 after having suffered a fever since Mar 12. He was transferred to Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab II on Mar 18, where his condition deteriorated and he needed breathing support. He died on Saturday at 4pm, said the Malaysian health ministry.
The 57-year-old was admitted to Hospital Kuala Lumpur on Mar 18 and died on Saturday.
Earlier on Saturday, Malaysia announced the deaths of a 79-year-old mother and her 40-year-old daughter, who were both from Kuching.
According to a media statement released by the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee on Saturday, the mother died at a private medical centre at 2am on Mar 18, while the daughter died at the Sarawak General Hospital on Saturday at 1pm.
Another family member, who had also tested positive for COVID-19, is warded and currently on life support at the Sarawak General Hospital.
Malaysia's fourth report death involved case 238, a 50-year-old Malaysian man, who also died on Saturday.
The man, who was part of the religious gathering at Sri Petaling mosque between Feb 27 and Mar 1, was admitted to Melaka Hospital on Mar 12.
The ministry also reported 153 new positive cases, bringing the total number to 1,183.
Of the new cases, 90 are related to the religious gathering.
As of Mar 21, 37 cases are being treated in the intensive care unit. A total of 19 staff members of the Ministry of Health, as well as five private healthcare workers, have tested positive for COVID-19.
Citing Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, the Director-General of Health, the ministry said that 500 homeless people in Kuala Lumpur will be tested for the virus.
"We expect the number of cases to rise next week and urge the tabligh members involved to come for screening," the ministry quoted Dr Noor Hisham.
"Patients' identities cannot be revealed without their permission."
The ministry also reported that 27 more cases have been cured of COVID-19, bringing the total number of recovered and discharged patients to 114.