Malaysia reports highest daily spike of 869 new coronavirus cases

Malaysia imposed targeted lockdowns this month as infections surged.
Malaysia imposed targeted lockdowns this month as infections surged.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS, XINHUA) - Malaysia reported 869 new coronavirus cases on Saturday (Oct 17), its highest daily count so far, health authorities said. 

The South-east Asian country, which has imposed targeted lockdowns this month as infections surged, has had a total of 19,627 infections. 

It also recorded four new deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 180. 

Health Ministry Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah told a press briefing on Saturday that all the new cases were local transmissions. 

More than half of the new cases were from the eastern state of Sabah, with 451 of the new cases reported in the state. The capital city of Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding Selangor state accounted for 20 per cent, while another 25 per cent were reported from several clusters in prisons. 

A total of 302 patients have been released after recovery, bringing the total cured and discharged to 12,561, or 64 per cent of all cases. Of the remaining 6,886 active cases, 91 are being held in intensive care and 30 of those are in need of assisted breathing. 

More than a third of Malaysia's population has been placed under movement restrictions for two weeks as coronavirus cases continue to soar in the country following a recent outbreak from a state election in Sabah. 

Experts have warned that Sabah's healthcare system is at risk of being stretched to its limit in the next few weeks if the number of Covid-19 cases keep growing, the New Straits Times reported on Friday. 

A trust deficit between Malaysians and their politicians has also been widening as citizens blame their movement restrictions and rising number of infections on their leaders' politicking.