Monday, August 15

Covid-19: 660 new cases, four deaths reported yesterday

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Dr Noor Hisham arrives for the Covid-19 media briefing. — Bernama photo

PUTRAJAYA:  After recording four digits in daily cases since Nov 13, new Covid-19 cases in the country have dropped down to three digits once again, with 660 cases reported yesterday.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the latest development brings the cumulative total of Covid-19 positive cases in the country to 50,390, with active cases with infectivity totalling 12,814.

In addition, 630 recoveries were recorded in the last 24 hours, he said.

“Of the total new cases, 656 were local infections while four were imported, two from Turkey, and one each from India and Saudi Arabia.

“The local infections involve cases in Sabah with 387 cases, Selangor (139), Negeri Sembilan (31), Kuala Lumpur (29), Penang (16), Perak (16), Labuan (13), Kedah (11), Melaka (four), Sarawak (three), Johor (three), Kelantan (three) and Putrajaya (one),” he said during the Covid-19 media briefing yesterday.

Dr Noor Hisham said there were four deaths recorded in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll related to Covid-19 to 322 people.

At the same time, there are 103 cases being treated in the intensive care unit with 41 requiring respiratory assistance, he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said the Health Ministry (MOH) is taking several steps to accommodate patients following the spike in Covid-19 positive cases in the Klang Valley, including increasing the number of available beds in Sungai Buloh Hospital (SgBH) to 630 beds and Kuala Lumpur General Hospital (KLGH) to 831 beds, while Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital’s (CRH) status would be turned into a Covid-19 hybrid hospital with 230 beds.

“In addition, eight blocks of the Sungai Buloh Health Ministry Training Institute (ILKKM) will be reopened as a Covid-19 Quarantine and Low-Risk Treatment Centre with a capacity of 2,400 beds, and the National Leprosy Control Centre (PKKN) will continue to be used as a treatment centre with a capacity of 648 beds,” he said.

He said that in the early stages of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the MOH only used SgBH and KLGH as Covid-19 treatment hospitals, while PKKN was turned into a treatment centre for category one and two patients in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

“The increase in the number of Covid-19 patients in this area, however, have resulted in these hospitals recording high rate of bed usage,” he said.

According to Dr Noor Hisham, the number of beds in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya has increased 14-fold, from 345 beds in Oct 1 to 4,739 beds today (Nov 18).

“Strategic planning to increase the number of beds involves six facilities, namely, KLGH, SgBH, CRH, PKKN, ILKKM and the Tuanku Mizan Armed Forces Hospitals in two states, along with the cooperation of various agencies, including the National Disaster Management Agency, the Malaysian Armed Forces, the Royal Malaysia Police, the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department, the Malaysian Civil Defence Force, the People’s Volunteer Corps and the Social Welfare Department.

“To streamline the administration and operations of all the hospitals and treatment centres in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, the MOH, with the help of the National Security Council, has established an Integrated Central Region Covid-19 Centre headed by Selangor health director, Datuk Dr Sha’ari Ngadiman and Dr Sarah Shaikh Abdul Karim, an emergency medicine specialist from SgBH,” he said. — Bernama