Malaysia’s daily new cases drop to 85 after 28 days of MCO

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on April 16, 2020.
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KUALA LUMPUR: The number of Covid-19 infections topped 5,000 in Malaysia at 5,072 yesterday. However, the number of new cases dropped below the 100 mark for the first time in a month to 85 yesterday.

This is the lowest daily figure since March 15 when only 41 cases were reported then. The next day, daily infections quadrupled to 190 cases, and two days later on March 18 the government implemented the movement control order (MCO) nationwide.

According to the ministry of health, the number of daily recoveries of 169 was double the daily infections. This is the seventh time that the daily recoveries were higher than new cases since the outbreak.

This brings Malaysia’s recovery rate to 2,647 cases or 52.2% of total infections.

Currently, the country has 2,342 active cases, with all the patients undergoing treatment. The curve on active cases has demonstrated a flattening pattern recently (see chart).

Malaysia was the first Asean country to impose a partial lockdown when the tally was below 1,000 cases. It now has the third highest infections in the region after the Philippines with 5,453 and Indonesia with 5,136. Singapore reported 3,252 confirmed cases while Thailand has 2,643.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a statement that 56 patients are still being treated in intensive care, with 32 of them needing respiratory assistance. One more death was reported, bringing the death toll to 83.

The deceased was a 69-year-old Malaysian man who had diabetes and high blood pressure. He died at 6.41am yesterday while undergoing treatment at University Malaya Medical Centre.

Selangor remains the state with the highest number of confirmed infections with 1,316 cases, followed by Kuala Lumpur (926), Johor (601) and Sarawak (371).

Total red zones have increased to 27 nationwide with the addition of Muar, Johor yesterday.

As of yesterday, Muar had recorded 44 cases, while Lembah Pantai in Kuala Lumpur continued to lead with the highest number of confirmed infections with 572 cases.