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COVID-19: 3,631 new cases recorded today – Health D-G

A total of 3,631 new COVID-19 cases were reported today, taking the total number of infections nationwide to 165,371, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

“Of the new cases, seven are import cases who were infected abroad while the remaining are local transmissions.

“As for the 3,624 local transmissions, 2,754 of them involved Malaysians and 870 foreigners,” he said at the daily press conference on COVID-19 development here today.

The total number of active cases now stands at 39,464, with 238 cases being treated in the intensive care unit and 96 of them requiring respiratory assistance.

He said there were 2,944 recoveries today, bringing the cumulative recovery cases to 125,288 or 75.8 per cent of the total number of cases.

He added that the Ministry of Health (MOH) had also identified nine new COVID-19 clusters, with four of them involving workplace, two family gatherings and one wedding reception.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Agong urges Malaysians to set aside differences in fight against COVID-19

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah today urged Malaysians to set aside political, racial and religious differences in the fight against COVID-19, which continues to record four-digit positive cases daily since the end of last year.

Comptroller of the Royal Household of Istana Negara, Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin, said His Majesty was confident that with the support and cooperation of all parties, the country will be able to once again flatten the curve of the COVID-19 infection as well as ease the burden borne by frontliners.

His Majesty also expressed concern over the increase in the need for intensive care and the use of beds in intensive care units (ICU), especially in the Klang Valley, which recorded a sharp increase in positive cases, said Ahmad Fadil.

“Due to the increasing need for intensive care and the use of ICU beds, critically ill COVID-19 patients have to be placed in other government hospitals and this could affect the treatment of non-COVID-19 patients,” said Al Sultan Abdullah in a statement issued by Istana Negara, today.

Yesterday, the country recorded 3,306 cases of new COVID-19 infections while 15 COVID-19 hospitals reported over 70 per cent of COVID-19 (non-ICU) bed usage.

Ahmad Fadil also said that Al-Sultan Abdullah also expressed his sadness to see those who are still insensitive in their daily actions, especially to the adherence to the new norms, and self discipline to curb the spread of the pandemic.

“In this regard, Al-Sultan Abdullah calls on Malaysians to show solidarity and undivided support to the frontliners by working together, with self discipline, in complying with all directives set by the government and the standard operating procedures (SOPs),” he said..

Ahmad Fadil added that His Majesty also called on everyone to jointly pray that the frontliners will always be protected, that all efforts made by all parties in the fight against COVID-19 are blessed and successful and that the country is always protected and will be free from this pandemic soon.

He also said that His Majesty understood the great challenges faced by the heroes and heroines at the country’s frontline, and hoped that they would persevere in fighting the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Al-Sultan Abdullah highly praises the sacrifices made by the frontliners for the safety of the people, in taking responsibility for curbing the COVID-19 pandemic as well as treating patients infected by the illness that can be fatal.

“Therefore, His Majesty expressed hope that the frontliners’ strong and fighting spirit, as the country’s main line of defence since the beginning of the pandemic early last year, be appreciated by all Malaysians. Indeed, the hard work of the frontliners should be commended and continue to be appreciated,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Sabah views seriously video of men drinking beer at PKRC – Masidi

The Sabah Heath Department (JKNS) views seriously the video clip showing a number of people drinking beer at the COVID-19 Quarantine and Low-Risk Treatment Centre (PKRC) in the state which went viral on social media recently.

State Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun, who is also the state’s spokesperson on matters related to COVID-19, said the JKNS will not hesitate to take stern action against any of the department’s staff if they were found involved in the case.

“Disciplinary action can be taken against them under the Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1993 [P.U.(A)395/1993].

“The management of the PKRC involved has started conducting spot checks on every bag brought by patients into the centre to prevent a recurrence of the incident,” he told the daily media conference of COVID-19 situation in Sabah, here today.

The viral video lasting more than 10 seconds showed a man having a conversation with another individual while holding a can of beer. Also visible were two buckets containing cans of beer.

Masidi said the JKNS, with the cooperation from the police, was still investigating the incident and the police did not rule out the possibility that the alcoholic drink was brought in by the man himself or with the help from the PKRC staff.

In another development, Masidi said all Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) examination candidates in Sabah were encouraged to take the COVID-19 screening test before returning to their hostels.

He said the JKNS had also instructed all area and district health offices to collaborate with the District Education Office to organise the screenings for the students to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in school hostels.

On the COVID-19 situation in Sabah today, Masidi said 432 new positive cases were recorded today, bringing the total to 44,076 cases, with one death reported in Kudat.

He said 438 patients have recovered and discharged today, bringing the total recoveries in Sabah to 39,764.

“A total of 2,906 patients are currently being treated, 794 of whom in hospitals and 2,112 others at PKRCs. Ninety-one patients are in the intensive care unit, with 23 requiring ventilators,” he said, adding that the results for another 3,799 samples were still pending.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

MOH committed to ensuring safety of registered vaccines

— The Ministry of Health (MOH) is always committed to ensuring the quality, safety and effectiveness of vaccines and registered medicines are always guaranteed through the quality product monitoring programme and pharmacovigilance.

Its Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, in a statement today said the ministry would notify the public of the latest developments on the registered vaccines, from time to time.

“Those who experience adverse effects after receiving a vaccine can lodge reports to any healthcare facilities that administer vaccines or submit them to NPRA (the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Division) through its website at https://npra.gov.my,” he said.

He was commenting on a report by the Norwegian Medicines Agency (NMA) on the death cases associated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in Norway.

Dr Adham said NPRA is seeking detailed information from Pfizer (M) Sdn Bhd as the product registration holder and closely monitoring the development of the issue, including actions taken by other international regulatory bodies such as the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

“Based on the initial report issued by the NMA, the deaths were among the elderly with illnesses and had history of chronic disease.

“Autopsies showed that the recipients (of the vaccine) had suffered fever, nausea and diarrhoea which are normal adverse effects after receiving immunisation and following that vaccination information updates are being carried out to take into account the recipient’s age and health condition,” he said.

Dr Adham said the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer-BioNTech, COMIRNATY Concentrate For Dispersion For Injection received conditional registration from the Drug Control Authority (PBKD) on Jan 8, this year.

“The efficacy and safety data for this vaccine was obtained from its third phase clinical trials conducted on 44,000 volunteers, including those aged above 75.

“The trials have shown a 95 per cent success rate of the vaccine in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infection when it is given in two complete doses within 21 days. Clinical research shows that the adverse effects are tolerable and only temporary,” he added.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Two COVID-19 positive Bangladeshi men try to board flight to Dhaka

Two Bangladeshi men in their 20s, who had tested positive for COVID-19, tried to leave the country by boarding a flight bound for Dhaka yesterday via the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here.

They were found to be positive for COVID-19 based on a screening test slip they submitted during the check-in process at the counter and the counter staff then informed police about the matter.

KLIA District Police chief ACP Imran Abd Rahman confirmed the matter when contacted today, adding that police had contacted, and handed over both men to, the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Both men, it is understood, are undergoing treatment at the Sungai Buloh Hospital.

Imran said both the men are private employees and had valid identification documents.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

COVID-19: Thailand scales up active case detection to curb infections in communities

— Thailand is stepping up active case detection in highly-controlled provinces in the kingdom to halt the spread of COVID-19 in communities.

Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) assistant spokesperson Dr Apisamai Srirangsan said the Department of Disease Control (DDC) has scaled up its active case detection exercise for COVID-19 in Bangkok and 27 provinces which have recorded more than 50 cases in the latest outbreak.

“We hope active case detection exercise will help to reduce the risk of infections in the communities especially among high-risk groups such as senior citizens,” she said at the COVID-19 daily briefing here today.

Meanwhile, Apisamai said relevant authorities will beef up enforcement along land borders after growing concerns over a surge in COVID-19 cases in neighbouring countries, including Malaysia.

She said the Interior Ministry has urged provincial governors along the borders to step up surveillance to prevent illegal entry of migrant workers.

Local media reported that spike in COVID-19 cases in neighbouring countries including Malaysia and Myanmar could cause Thais and foreign workers to flee these countries via Thai borders.

On Sunday, Thai authorities arrested eight Myanmar nationals for sneaking into the kingdom from Kedah in Malaysia via the Sadao checkpoint in Songkhla to return to their home country.

Meanwhile, Thailand has reported 369 new COVID-19 cases and zero deaths, over the last 24 hours, bringing the tally in the kingdom to 12,423 cases and 70 fatalities.

Of the new cases, Apisamai said 357 were local transmissions including 275 through active case detection, 82 cases linked to those visiting high-risk areas and 12 imported cases.

“To date, a total of have been 12,423 COVID-19 cases reported in the kingdom of which 10,134 were local transmissions including 3,982 cases through active case detection and 2,289 returnees from abroad.

“So far, 3,147 patients are still hospitalised,” she said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

COVID-19: 3,306 new cases, four deaths Jan 18 – Health DG

— A total of 3,306 new COVID-19 infections were recorded in the country today, bringing the cumulative figure of positive cases to 161,740, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said of the total number of new cases reported today, seven were imported while 3,299 were local transmissions consisting of 2,198 Malaysian patients and 1,101 non-citizens.

“Of the overall tally, 38,791 are active cases. A total of 226 patients are currently being treated in the Intensive Care Unit with 94 requiring ventilator support,” he said in a statement on COVID-19 today.

Dr Noor Hisham said four more COVID-19 fatalities were recorded today, raising the death toll to 605.

He said with 2,293 more recoveries recorded today, the cumulative number of those who had been cured of COVID-19 in Malaysia is 122,344, or 75.6 per cent of the total number of cases.

He added that there were nine new COVID-19 clusters detected today.

Dr Noor Hisham said the new clusters, including seven at the workplace were detected in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Sabah, Johor, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan and Pahang.

He said the workplace clusters were the Taman Tasik Sungai Chua Cluster in Hulu Langat, Selangor; Kompleks Segamaha Cluster in Kinabatangan, Sabah; Jalan Bukit Bendera Cluster in Kota Kinabalu, Papar and Beaufort in Sabah and Tapak Bina Jalan Nipah Cluster in Titiwangsa Kuala Lumpur.

Other workplace clusters were Tapak Bina Era Duta Cluster in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur; Jalan TJ Cluster in Seremban and Cafe Genting Cluster in Genting Highlands Pahang, he added.

The remaining clusters were Jalan Suria Cluster which involved a private medical centre in Jalan Suria, Johor Bahru and Pulau Lima Cluster in which was detected in Pasir Puteh, Kelantan, following screening of symptomatic individuals.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency