The total number of new Covid-19 cases in the country remained in three digits for the 16th consecutive day with 629 cases today apart from recording six more deaths while 245 people recovered from the disease.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said with the latest development, the overall total in Malaysia now stands at 18,758 cases while the death toll was 176 individuals and there were 12,259 full recoveries so far.
“There are now 6,323 active cases with Covid-19 infectivity, and they have been isolated and given treatment,” he said in a virtual media conference via the Ministry of Health (MOH) Facebook site today.
He also said 99 are in intensive care units (ICU) and 31 on respiratory assistance.
Sabah continued to record the highest new infections with 489 cases, following more laboratory results obtained.
He said the laboratories in Sabah conducted 3,296 tests yesterday and the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) is assisting to send 5,340 samples to Peninsular Malaysia for faster processing.
Dr Noor Hisham said for states in the Klang Valley under Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), Selangor recorded 50 new cases, Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur (eight cases) and Putrajaya (two cases).
In Penang there were 33 cases, Federal Territory of Labuan (19 cases), Perak (nine cases), Kedah (seven cases), Johor (five cases), Melaka (three cases) and one case each in Negeri Sembilan and Pahang.
Commenting further, he said 627 cases were local transmissions involving 577 Malaysians and 50 foreigners while the two import cases reported involved Malaysians returning from New Zealand and Singapore.
“For local transmissions, 16 cases were visitors who returned from Sabah which brings the number of cases with history of travelling to Sabah since Sept 20 to 437 cases,” he said.
On the new fatalities, he said five were recorded in Sabah involving Malaysians and one foreigner in Kuala Lumpur.
Dr Noor Hisham described the pandemic situation in Sabah as a “crisis”, given the steady increase in Covid-19 cases.
This, he said, is also the reason why the Health Ministry has called for additional volunteers to help existing personnel in the state to tackle the pandemic.
He said under normal circumstances, the ministry’s human resources would be sufficient.
“We are now in a crisis. What is sure is we are in a crisis in Sabah due to the daily increase in cases.
“We also have 19 quarantine and low-risk treatment centres for Stage One and Stage Two cases. We need the additional human resources for these centres and for medical activities to be conducted on the field,” he told a press conference today.
He said that so far, 492 medical personnel and 52 public health officers have been mobilised internally in Sabah over the past month.
As of Oct 14, 175 medical and 48 public health personnel have also been mobilised from other states.
He said 767 officers from various categories and states have also been deployed to Sabah to assist with efforts to battle the pandemic.
Dr Noor Hisham was responding to questions on whether the ministry was strapped for manpower after calling for volunteers to help it address the pandemic crisis.
“We are open to the whole society and whole government approach. This is the time that NGOs can come forward and help us, especially in the quarantine and low-risk treatment centres as well as on the field.
“This is a war that we are facing. And what is certain is that we have to break the chain of transmission in Sabah especially, and then generally in the Peninsular.
“Once again I would like to remind all Malaysians to follow the SOPs. What is important is that we stay at home if we have nothing to do outside. If we do, we need to follow the SOP. We need to look after ourselves, our families, our community and the country.”