BY MELATI MOHD ARIFF
This is a round-up of Covid-19 related matters in Malaysia and globally from March 13 up to noon today. In Malaysia, case numbers have exceeded 328,000.
Although four-digit new Covid-19 cases are still being reported daily in the country, it is a relief to note that they have remained under 2,000 continuously for nearly two weeks.
Over the 24-hour period up to noon Thursday, 1,219 new infections were reported nationwide by the Ministry of Health (MoH).
On Tuesday, 1,063 new cases were reported — the lowest number since January this year.
The daily breakdown of infections reported this week (March 13-18) is as follows: 1,470 (March 13); 1,354 (March 14); 1,208 (March 15); 1,063 (March 16); 1,219 (March 17); and 1,213 (March 18).
With Thursday’s 1,219 new cases, Malaysia’s cumulative total stood at 328,466. Active cases, meanwhile, dipped below 15,000 to 14,782. Just last month on Feb 10, active cases stood at a hefty 52,186, which was the highest number ever recorded by Malaysia.
Malaysia remains at the 45th spot in the list of 216 countries affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Just ahead of Malaysia are Slovakia (344,470 cases), Panama (349,020) and Saudi Arabia (383,499).
On Thursday, 1,503 patients were discharged, bringing the total number of recoveries to 312,461 (95.1 percent of total Covid-19 cases).
The daily breakdown of recoveries recorded this week is as follows: 1,830 cases (March 13), 1,782 (March 14), 1,973 (March 15), 1,365 (March 16), 1,346 (March 17), and 1,503 (March 18).
Thursday, meanwhile, marked one year since the enforcement of the movement control order on March 18, 2020 to stem the transmission of the Covid-19 virus. On that day, the nation recorded 117 new infections, with total cases numbering 790.
Malaysia’s first three 2019-nCoV (later renamed Covid-19 by the World Health Organisation) cases involved Chinese citizens who had entered the country through Johor from Singapore on Jan 23, 2020.
Other developments nationwide
As of Thursday, a total of 12 districts in Peninsular Malaysia were declared green zones, namely Kubang Pasu, Padang Terap, Langkawi and Yan in Kedah; Kampar and Hulu Perak in Perak; Jelebu and Jempol in Negeri Sembilan; Gua Musang in Kelantan; Hulu Terengganu in Terengganu; and Raub and Cameron Highlands in Pahang.
As for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, the following number of people have been administered the first dose of the vaccine in the various states as of March 17: Perlis 8,795, Kedah 25,492, Penang 22,037, Perak 42,227, Selangor 45,854, Kuala Lumpur 33,500, Putrajaya 4,611, Negeri Sembilan 15,958, Melaka 9,954, Kelantan 17,904, Terengganu 15,726, Pahang 26,574, Johor 27,131, Sabah 36,443, Labuan 2,342, and Sarawak 32,665.
The total number of people who have been vaccinated now stood at 367,213.
Meanwhile, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah wrote on his personal Facebook account yesterday that the Covid-19 infectivity rate or R0/Rt value for the whole nation remained at 0.87. State-wise, Terengganu recorded the highest R0 value at 1.11 while the lowest (0.63) was recorded by Negeri Sembilan.
Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Penang and Kelantan are currently under conditional movement control order (CMCO) from March 19 to 31.
Kedah, Perak, Pahang, Terengganu, Negeri Sembilan, Perlis, Putrajaya, Labuan, Sabah and Melaka have been placed under Recovery Movement Control Order. Sarawak is under CMCO from March 16 to 29.
Inter-district travel is allowed in all the states (except Sabah and Sarawak) but interstate travel is still prohibited.
Malaysia is under emergency rule starting Jan 12 up to August this year.
Workplace, detention centre clusters
As of Thursday, Malaysia has recorded a total of 1,276 Covid-19 clusters nationwide, out of which 848 have ended. There are currently 428 active clusters, 66 of which have reported new cases.
The clusters that reported a substantial number of new cases yesterday were Semuja Immigration Depot cluster (99 cases), Jalan Wawasan Sembilan cluster (47 cases) and Jalan Harapan Prison cluster (32 cases).
Thursday, nine new clusters were reported with five of them linked to the workplace, three community centres, and one detention centre (Semuja Immigration Depot).
The Semuja cluster involves Serian district in Sarawak and has so far reported 99 positive cases.
On March 17, MoH reported the Muhasabah Tembok cluster involving a detention centre in Jelebu, Negeri Sembilan. Out of the 225 individuals screened, 49 tested positive for Covid-19.
Also reported on the same day was the Andromeda cluster involving the foreign crew of a dredger from Singapore in Muar, Johor. Out of the 44 individuals screened, six were found positive.
The Subang Dua workplace cluster reported on March 17 has so far recorded 153 cases, following targeted screening of the workers of a factory in Jalan Subang Dua, Taman Perindustrian Subang in Petaling district, Selangor.
Covid-19 case details nationwide
Selangor continues to be the top “contributor” to Covid-19 cases in the country. Out of the 1,213 new cases announced by MoH on Thursday, Selangor accounted for the highest number at 353.
It also reported two new workplace clusters, namely Persiaran Sunsuria construction site cluster and Persiaran Setia construction site cluster. Selangor’s cumulative total cases stood at 110,550.
Sarawak is also continuing to record three-digit new cases. On Thursday it reported 303 new cases and two new clusters, Sungai Atap cluster (community) and Semuja Immigration Depot cluster.
Johor reported 142 new infections and one new workplace cluster yesterday (Jalan Wawasan Sembilan cluster); Penang 104 cases; Kuala Lumpur 79 cases; Negeri Sembilan 23 cases; Perak 39 cases and one new workplace cluster, Jalan Asuhan cluster.
Sabah 73 cases and two new clusters, Kampung Padang Tembak cluster (community) and Melamam cluster (workplace); Kedah 38 cases and one new cluster Bunga Tanjung Bendahara cluster (community); Kelantan 20 cases; Terengganu 15 cases; Pahang 14 cases; Melaka eight cases; and Labuan eight cases.
Three deaths were reported on Thursday, bringing Malaysia’s Covid-19 death toll to 1,223 (0.37 percent of total cases).
A total of 155 patients are currently being treated in the intensive care unit with 54 requiring respiratory aid. – Bernama