Malaysia records 862 new COVID-19 cases, active cases climb to 7,681 with three deaths

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 20): Malaysia recorded 862 new COVID-19 infections today, marking the fourth consecutive day that new cases stayed above the 800-mark.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said three new deaths in Sabah were reported to the Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) today, raising the death toll to 193.

The deceased were two women and one man aged between 59 and 90. All of them had pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, chronic kidney disease and dyslipidemia.

This is the 13th consecutive day that deaths were reported in the State, with 49 cases in total, representing slightly over a quarter of all deaths in Malaysia due to the coronavirus.

In the past two weeks, the deadliest days of the pandemic were Oct 9 and Oct 18 when six and seven fatalities respectively were reported.

Malaysia’s total COVID-19 positive cases swelled to 22,225. Active cases, meanwhile, climbed to 7,681.

According to Noor Hisham, there are 95 COVID-19 patients in intensive care, with 29 of them needing ventilators.

The bulk of the new cases today continue to come from Sabah, with 673 new infections reported in the State alone, representing 78.1% of today’s cases.

“Some 260 cases were detected from the existing COVID-19 clusters, 243 cases from screening of close contacts of COVID-19 positive patients, 168 from other COVID-19 screenings while two were detected from the newly-discovered cluster, namely the Kertang cluster,” said Noor Hisham at a media briefing today.

He said the Kertang cluster which was identified in Kota Belud, Sabah now has 21 confirmed infections in total.

“From 216 individuals who went for COVID-19 screenings, 195 were negative for the virus,” he said.

Noor Hisham noted that four new infections were reported among returnees from Sabah, raising the total travellers who have a history of travel to the high-risk area since Sept 20 to 452.

Sabah now has a total of 8,755 COVID-19 infections — the highest among all States and Federal Territories (FTs), followed by Selangor (3,489), Kuala Lumpur (2,680), Kedah (1,957) and Negeri Sembilan (1,110)

After Sabah, Selangor recorded 132 cases, followed by Kedah with 17 cases, Perak with nine cases, Penang (8), Labuan (6), Kuala Lumpur (6), Negeri Sembilan (6), Putrajaya (1), Johor (1), and Kelantan (1).

“Overall, some 235 cases today (27.3%) came from the Kepayan Prison cluster and the Tembok cluster. All of these cases are isolated in the prisons and do not infect the community,” said Noor Hisham.

From the 862 new cases, only two were imported cases, involving a Malaysian and foreigner who had returned from Egypt and Indonesia.

Meanwhile, 634 patients have recovered from the outbreak. Total recoveries in the country now stand at 14,351 or 64.6% of total cases.

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Lam Jian Wyn