Malaysia reports nine new COVID-19 cases, with emergence of new Maju cluster in KL

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 21): Malaysia reported nine new COVID-19 cases today, of which five were locally transmitted and four were imported, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH).

This raised the tally of confirmed COVID-19 infections in Malaysia to 9,249, while the number of recoveries came in at 13 today — which raised total recoveries to 8,945 or 96.7% of the total.

With no new death recorded, the death toll remained unchanged at 125, while active cases stood at 179.

The four imported cases today involved foreigners who travelled from the Philippines (one case), Austria (one), Indonesia (one) and India (one). Two of the cases were detected in Selangor and two others in Kuala Lumpur, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in a statement.

As for the five locally-transmitted cases, four involved Malaysians and one was a foreigner who was detected via screening before returning to the individual's country of origin. “The patient did not display any symptoms and has been sent to Sarawak General Hospital,” said Noor Hisham.

Of the local transmissions, three were found under the Tawar cluster in Kedah, while one came from a newly discovered cluster in Kuala Lumpur — the Maju cluster that was detected in a restaurant in Titiwangsa here, which now has a total of three confirmed infections.

The new patient was a customer of this restaurant. The first two cases were reported on Aug 16.

“They [the two first cases] were workers in the restaurant who were detected through random screening on restaurant workers around Kuala Lumpur. Prior to this, screening of close contacts had been conducted and the new case of this cluster was a customer of the restaurant. The patient, who experienced sore throat and headache on Aug 17, has been admitted to the Sungai Buloh Hospital,” said Noor Hisham.

So far, 672 people linked to the cluster had been screened, comprising 16 workers of the restaurant and 656 customers. Aside from the three positive cases, screening on the remainder came out negative.

Meanwhile, screening of close contacts and active case detection are still ongoing, Noor Hisham said, adding that precautionary measures such as disinfection and decontamination have been done at the restaurant.

As for the Tawar cluster, he updated that the total confirmed infections under this cluster now stood at 58, after 2,773 people were screened up until noon today — 2,256 in Kedah, 466 in Penang and 11 in Perak.

To date, there are 17 active clusters in the country, while 84 have come to an end.