Malaysia logs record 16 Covid-19 deaths in one day, patients in intensive care also hit new high

There were 2,643 new cases of the coronavirus in the last 24 hours.
There were 2,643 new cases of the coronavirus in the last 24 hours.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia on Friday (Jan 8) reported a record 16 deaths in one day linked to Covid-19, and also logged the highest number of patients in intensive care and those requiring ventilators to survive.

There were 2,643 new cases of the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, lower than the record high of of 3,027 posted the previous day, the Health Ministry said in its daily update.

The total death tally from Covid-19 stands at 537.

"The increase in deaths today is due to the phenomenon where some cases require a certain period of time for further investigations before they can be confirmed as having been caused by Covid-19," the ministry's director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a statement.

The ministry said there were a record 170 patients in intensive care units (ICU), the highest since the government began tracking the coronavirus pandemic.

There was also a record-high 82 patients who needed to be intubated.

Just as worryingly, two babies - aged four months and a year - were among the 16 latest Covid-19 cases reported in Sarawak, Bernama news agency reported.

Sarawak's disaster management committee said the baby developed a fever on Dec 25 and tested positive for Covid-19 today after being screened on Jan 7. The other child was confirmed positive yesterday and was a close contact of a previously reported Covid-19 case.

Malaysia is experiencing its third wave of Covid-19 and the most intensive phase, which started in September.

The cumulative total number of cases stands at 131,108.

The government is expected to soon announce stricter movement curbs in parts of the country.

"A special meeting of the National Security Council is reviewing and assessing all the measures to be taken immediately to control the spread of Covid-19," said Senior Minister (Security) Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

"This includes considering imposing tighter standard operating procedures, including in the social sector, to reduce movement and risk of Covid-19.

"An announcement will be made by the Prime Minister soon to announce the action that will be taken," he said at his regular briefing on the security aspects of the pandemic.