Coronavirus Global situation

Active Covid-19 cases in Malaysia drop to near pre-MCO level Coronavirus Global situation

Recoveries outpace new cases for 10th day; 511 active clusters under supervision nationwide

PUTRAJAYA • The number of Covid-19 recoveries in Malaysia yesterday outpaced new cases for the 10th day in a row.

As a result, the total number of active cases has gone down to 34,468 in the daily statistics.

On Feb 11, the country's active cases were at their highest at 51,783. The figure is getting closer to the pre-Movement Control Order (MCO) numbers - with 30,390 active cases on Jan 12.

Active cases refer to people who have tested positive for Covid-19 and are receiving treatment in hospitals or quarantine centres.

The Health Ministry's director-general, Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, said Malaysia recorded 2,461 new cases of Covid-19 yesterday, raising the cumulative total to 280,272. In the same 24-hour period, eight patients died, bringing the fatality total to 1,051.

On the positive side, 4,782 patients who have recovered were discharged yesterday from hospitals and quarantine centres.

With the 2,461 new cases logged, yesterday was the seventh consecutive day that the daily figure was below 3,000. This was a moderation from a sharp rise in daily numbers last month, with a record high of 5,728 cases notched on Jan 30.

On Friday, Tan Sri Noor Hisham said the ministry uncovered 13 new Covid-19 clusters. Ten of them were infections found at workplaces in Johor, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Sabah and Sarawak.

There were 511 active clusters under the ministry's supervision nationwide on Friday.

Malaysia imposed the stricter movement curbs on Jan 12 for most states and federal territories, and banned inter-district and inter-state travel.

Only Johor, Selangor, Penang and the Kuala Lumpur federal territory - where cases remain high - are under the MCO until March 4.

The other 10 Malaysian states, along with the federal territories of Putrajaya and Labuan, are back under the more relaxed Recovery MCO (RMCO), which allows travel between districts in the same state, and between the RMCO states.

Meanwhile, Malaysia's police chief said maximum security will be imposed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) when the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines arrives in the country today.

Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador said the police are ready to facilitate transport of the vaccines from KLIA to the storage facility in Subang, Selangor, before their distribution to other areas nationwide.

He said the police would remain vigilant even though there had not been any word of a threat or attempt to sabotage the vaccines during transport, storage or distribution.

"We are taking into account every eventuality, including the possibility that someone with mental problems might attempt to hijack the vaccines in transit.

"If an accident occurs during transport, it might damage and render the vaccines useless," he said in an interview recently.

Malaysia will receive one million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, with local vaccinations to begin on Friday.

After Subang, the vaccines will be distributed to Senai in Johor for the southern zone, Bayan Lepas in Penang for the north, as well as Kuching in Sarawak and Kota Kinabalu in Sabah.

Malaysia's Armed Forces will provide coordination assistance in movement control and logistics management of the vaccines, said the Chief of Defence Force, General Affendi Buang.

Power utility Tenaga Nasional, meanwhile, said it had made preliminary preparations to ensure that electricity supply at vaccine storage centres and vaccination centres nationwide remained stable during the immunisation programme, Bernama news agency reported.

A stable electricity supply is needed as the Pfizer vaccine must be stored at minus 70 deg C.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 21, 2021, with the headline 'Active Covid-19 cases in Malaysia drop to near pre-MCO level Coronavirus Global situation'. Subscribe