Sunday, September 24

Covid-19: 18 new positive cases, one just returned from Iran — Health director-general


Dr Noor Hisham speaks at a press conference on Covid-19 situation at the Ministry of Health. — Bernama photo

PUTRAJAYA: Eighteen new confirmed Covid-19 cases were reported as at noon yesterday, bringing to 117 the total number of cases in the country, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said one of the cases, Case 101, involved a man who had just returned from Iran.

“The man, along with his business partner, went to Iran from Feb 20 to 27, this year. He was identified as symptomatic on March 5 and confirmed positive for Covid-19 on March 8.

“The man has been given treatment and admitted to the isolation ward of the Tuanku Jaafar Hospital Seremban in Negeri Sembilan,” he told a press conference on Covid-19 situation at the Ministry of Health here yesterday.

Dr Noor Hisham said the close contacts for the 18 new cases were being identified for further investigation and sample-taking.

He said of the total, 19 cases were detected among patients under investigation (PUI) for the COVID-19 infection, 96 cases involving close contacts and two others were cases from the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Mission to bring home Malaysians from Wuhan, China.

“The two cases reported as being treated at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) yesterday are still there and in need of breathing ventilators,” he said.

While refusing to disclose whether the two patients were in critical condition, Dr Noor Hisham said they are still in the ICU at the Sungai Buloh Hospital and Sultanah Aminah Hospital, respectively.

He said Malaysia is now experiencing the second wave of COVID-19, which began on Feb 27, with only six cases from Case 23 to Case 117, were reported to have involved PUI and those with history of travelling abroad.

“Other cases involved clusters consisting of close contacts and related to one another,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham said the Health Ministry was also conducting COVID-19 surveillance to detect sporadic and local cases in Malaysia through patients with influenza-like-illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) that had no history of travelling to countries affected by COVID-19 or contact with COVID-19 positive cases.

As of March 9, a total of 574 samples had been tested and so far no samples were detected positive for COVID-19 infection.

“Based on current information, no COVID-19 sporadic cases have been detected through this surveillance activity,” he said.

While repeating his advice to the public to always maintain a high level of hygiene and avoid going to crowded places purportedly infected by the virus, he said the two easy steps were proven effective in preventing transmission of diseases spread by respiratory droplets.

He added that Malaysia is also monitoring the COVID-19 situation in the United States, France, Switzerland and Spain. — Bernama