Big improvement recorded

Big improvement recorded

PUTRAJAYA: Despite reporting no deaths and recording the lowest number of daily cases, Malaysia’s war against Covid-19 is still not over, warns the Health Ministry.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said Malaysians must remain steadfast in obeying the rules of the movement control order (MCO) to ensure the number of cases does not spike again.

“The war is not won yet. But neither have we lost it. Indeed, we have made significant improvement in terms of reducing the number of cases.

“We must continue what we did in the first and second phase of the MCO.

“Today, we recorded 36 new cases, the lowest for quite some time.

“But we want to see single digits. If we keep this up, maybe we can achieve that next week,” Dr Noor Hisham said at the ministry’s daily Covid-19 press conference here.

Yesterday’s 36 cases were Malaysia’s lowest daily figures since the MCO started on March 18.

The country also reported zero deaths in the span of 24 hours, also for the first time since March 19.

The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Malaysia since the pandemic started is 5,425.

There have been 89 fatalities while 3,295 patients have already been discharged. There are currently 2,041 active cases being treated in hospitals.

The MCO is currently in its third phase following two extensions by the government, and is expected to end on April 28.

Dr Noor Hisham said the government may introduce a “soft landing” approach when removing the MCO, which means social distancing rules and a ban on large gatherings are likely to continue for the rest of the year.

“Even once we remove the MCO, we will continue advising the people to stay at home, if you do not need to go out of the house. That is the principle.

“We are definitely looking at an exit strategy. Perhaps when we start, it must be a soft landing.

“What we will return to is not the norm, but a new norm.

“We may take some time, maybe three or six months. Our policies in terms of public gatherings must change. Social distancing must remain, and we will continue reminding people to wash hands and to stay at home,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry found 28 Covid-19 cases with one death linked to an area near the Kuala Lumpur Wholesale Market, which was recently placed under enhanced movement control order (MCO).

He said the 28 positive cases were found out of 2,064 samples taken from individuals in the area.

“The one death was that of a 36-year-old Myanmar national, who came to Hospital Selayang.

“He was a Category 4 case and had to be intubated, but later succumbed to the Covid-19 infection,” he said.

A Category 4 case refers to pneumonia cases that require oxygen.

He added that the enhanced MCO was to allow for authorities to use a targeted approach to prevent the spread of Covid-19, such as by active case detection and disinfection activities.

“We hope to screen more (in this target area) and we are also learning from our neighbouring country, so that our actions will be swift in order to keep the infection among non-Malaysians under control,” he said.

Source: The Star

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