Coronavirus South-east Asia

Malaysia sees daily record of 15,573 cases

It also edges towards vaccinating half its adult population with at least 1 dose

Madam Sabarina Othman, 67, receiving her Covid-19 vaccine shot at a drive-through vaccination centre at Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang. PHOTO: BERNAMA
Madam Sabarina Othman, 67, receiving her Covid-19 vaccine shot at a drive-through vaccination centre at Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang. PHOTO: BERNAMA

Malaysia reported 15,573 new coronavirus cases yesterday, the highest number of daily infections since the start of the pandemic.

This brings the country's cumulative total to 980,491 cases.

Health Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a tweet that Selangor had the most infections, with 7,672 cases, followed by Kuala Lumpur with 2,063 cases.

Malaysia yesterday also reported 144 coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the death toll to 7,718.

Meanwhile, the country is edging closer to having half of its adult population jabbed at least once with a Covid-19 vaccine, said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The authorities have also confirmed one case of an individual being injected with an empty syringe in its national vaccination roll-out, categorising it as a human error.

In addition, there were two cases where individuals were given an extra dose of the vaccine because it was unclear if their initial jabs had been made with empty syringes, said Coordinating Minister for Immunisation Khairy Jamaluddin in a briefing yesterday.

"Even if there's one single error, that's one error too many," said Mr Khairy. "So for those cases where there was human negligence, I apologise to them. And, of course, we will do better."

The confirmed case occurred in the state of Kedah, where a nurse admitted that she had been negligent due to exhaustion, said Mr Khairy, who added that disciplinary action will be taken against her. Thirteen police reports have been lodged so far about other alleged similar incidents, with most of them found to be false or inconclusive, said Mr Khairy.

Some of the cases were lodged by recipients who did not experience any side effects after getting inoculated, he was quoted by the Malay Mail news portal as saying.

Mr Khairy also stressed that there has been no evidence to suggest a link between the alleged empty vaccine shots and illegal vaccine sales.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Tan Sri Muhyiddin said 46.7 per cent of Malaysia's adult population had received at least one dose and 21.8 per cent had received both doses, amid a push to fully vaccinate all adults by October.

He said that the country hit a new record on Thursday with a daily vaccination rate of 507,050 doses. "This achievement is in line with the target set and must be further improved so that we can achieve the target of 26 million fully vaccinated Malaysians," said Mr Muhyiddin.

"With vaccinations, we will be able to help reduce the burden of cases in hospitals and severe infections," he added.

Malaysia has more than 147,000 active Covid-19 cases, with nearly 1,000 patients in intensive care.

It has been consistently recording more than 10,000 cases daily, with over 100 deaths a day, for the past week.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 24, 2021, with the headline 'Malaysia sees daily record of 15,573 cases'. Subscribe