PUTRAJAYA The daily new COVID-19 cases in Malaysia have remained at two digits with 70 reported today, bringing the cumulative figure to 6,726, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
He said another 88 cases have recovered and were discharged today, raising the total number of recoveries to 5,113, or 76 per cent of the cumulative figure for positive cases.
“Thirty-one of the 70 new cases are foreigners. The 70 new cases comprise 13 imported cases and 57 local transmissions.
“Therefore, the number of active COVID-19 cases with infectivity is 1,504,” he told a daily COVID-19 news conference here today.
Dr Noor Hisham said 20 cases were still being treated at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), with seven requiring ventilator support.
He said one fatality was reported today, bringing the death toll to 109, or 1.62 per cent of the total number of positive cases.
“The 109th death, which was case 6,657, was a 63-year-old Malaysian man with a history of diabetes and liver cancer. He was admitted to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital on May 8 and died at 5.15 am on May 10,” he added.
Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said the Rapid Test Kit (RTK) Antibody serology testing using blood samples from finger pricks cannot be used for confirmation tests.
He said this was because the presence of antibodies could not confirm active infection while negative antibody results could not guarantee that the individual being tested was not infected with COVID-19.
However, RTK Antibody tests can be used for conducting studies on the prevalence of infection in a community or among target groups like workers in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO), he said.
“For now, there is no solid evidence from scientific studies to show that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection,” he said.
As such, he stressed that detection of the COVID-19 virus would be based on antigens, that is through the Real Time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) or RTK Antigen tests.
Both these tests require the taking of nasopharyngeal (NPS) swabs by trained personnel using suitable personal protective equipment and laboratory equipment like Biological Safety Cabinet (BSC) when processing the collected sample, he added.
Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)