A REUTERS file photo of frontliners in protective suits pray before a disinfection operation, during the first movement control order in Kuala Lumpur.

WEEKLY ROUNDUP

By Melati Mohd Ariff

This is a round-up of Covid-19 related matters in Malaysia and globally from Oct 10 up to 12.30pm Friday. In Malaysia, cases exceed 18,000 and globally, the virus has infected more than 39 million people and caused over a million deaths. More than 200 countries and territories are affected by the pandemic.

KUALA LUMPUR: As reports point to the possibility that the D614G-type mutation may be responsible for the Covid-19 cases in Sabah, the number of new infections reported daily in the state continue to soar.  

Sabah also accounted for all the Covid-19 fatalities that occurred this week.

Over the 24 hours up to noon of Thursday, Sabah accounted for 304, or 51.6 percent, of the 589 new cases reported by the Ministry of Health (MoH).

According to Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, the mutated virus, which has a high infective rate, may have originated from the Philippines or Indonesia.

As of yesterday, Malaysia’s total Covid-19 positive cases had swelled to 18,129. Active cases, meanwhile, climbed 5,945.

In the Klang Valley, Selangor recorded 150 cases; Kuala Lumpur nine; and Putrajaya one; all on the same day.

Thursday recorded a total of 409 patients being discharged from hospital – the highest number of recovered cases recorded in a single day since the Covid-19 outbreak started in Malaysia. This brings the total number of recovered cases to 12,014 or 66.3 percent of total cases.

FATALITIES AND OTHER CASES

Malaysia’s Covid-19 death tally now stands at 170 (0.9 percent of total cases).

During the week under review, between Oct 10 (Saturday) and up until yesterday, 18 new fatalities were reported, all in the Land Below the Wind. The breakdown is as follows: three (Oct 15), four (Oct 14), four (Oct 13), two (Oct 12), two (Oct 11) and three (Oct 10).

Currently, 103 patients are in the intensive care unit with 31 needing respiratory aid.

For the record, new Covid-cases reported this week are as follows: 589 (Oct 15), 660 (Oct 14), 660 (Oct 13), 563 ( Oct 12), 561 (Oct 11) and 374 (Oct 10).

Meanwhile, a total of 394 cases reported between Sept 22 and Oct 13 had a history of travel to Sabah.

According to MoH, 23 clusters throughout Malaysia have index cases with a history of travel to Sabah.

CLUSTERS, COVID-19 CASE STATUS

Dr Noor Hisham announced on Thursday, that Malaysia has recorded 178 clusters, 103 of which have ended.

As of Thursday, there were 75 clusters, out of which 23 were still active.

The breakdown of new cases in the various states recorded on Thursday is as follows: Sabah 304 cases, as well as a new cluster, dubbed Olive, which reported 13 cases; Selangor 150 cases with 125 from existing clusters; Perak 52 cases with a new cluster Bah Pengkalan (two cases); Kedah 31 cases with 28 from Tembok cluster; Penang 16; Negeri Sembilan 11; Kuala Lumpur nine; Labuan six with two from a new cluster Saguking; Sarawak two; Melaka two; Kelantan two; and Putrajaya one case with a new cluster Bah Pasir.

With the hike in the number of new cases and active clusters in recent weeks, MoH said several districts in Malaya turned into yellow and red zones. As of Oct 14, a total of 52 districts were declared yellow zones and 19 districts red zones.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR SABAH

Sabah is Malaysia’s Covid-19 ‘battle zone’ and the government is working hard to meet its needs for additional medical resources.

The Malaysian Armed Forces will cooperate with the health ministry to transform the Tawau Sports Complex into a field hospital to treat non-Covid-19 patients in Tawau.

With the availability of the field hospital, there will be more space in Hospital Tawau to treat the more serious category three to category five Covid-19 cases, including those referred from nearby districts such as Semporna.

Recently on Thursday, a medical team from the Malaysian Armed Forces arrived in Tawau to start work at the field hospital. The team comprised of four officers and 32 members of the First Medical Battalion based in Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.

Hospital Tawau is among the nine hospitals in Sabah treating Covid-19 patients.

MoH also announced that it will send 140 medical officers and 225 assistant medical officers to Sabah starting this month.

PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES

Labuan, which is also facing a spike in Covid-19 cases, is the latest to be added to the list of states where conditional movement control order (CMCO) has been enforced. Labuan’s CMCO has taken effect today and will be enforced until Oct 30.

Sabah was first to be placed under CMCO (Oct 12 to 26), followed by Selangor and the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya from Oct 14 to 27.

The restriction in movements will curb the transmission of the virus, as well as allow MoH to carry out targeted active case detection on a larger scale.

To stem the rise in new cases and clusters involving individuals with a travel history to Sabah, all Sabah returnees must undergo Covid-19 screening at all international and domestic entry points, as well as issued the 14-day home surveillance order from the date of arrival.

They are required to wear their pink wristbands during home quarantine and monitor their health using the home assessment tool found in the MySejahtera mobile application.

GLOBAL COVID-19 STATISTICS

According to CoronaTracker (which cites figures from various agencies including the World Health Organisation), the total number of COVID-19 cases worldwide at the time of writing this article stood at 39,169,824 (36,751,502 cases at the same time last Friday) and 1,102,919 deaths (1,066,856 last Friday). The total number of recoveries stood at 29,378,268.

The United States continues to head the list of badly-hit nations with 8,216,315 cases (7,833,763 last Friday) and 222,717 deaths (217,738 last week).

India is on the second spot with 7,365,509 cases and 112,146 deaths. Brazil is third with 5,170,996 cases and 152,513 fatalities. Russia is fourth with 1,354,163 cases and 23,49 deaths. – Bernama