Covid-19: Health D-G expects case numbers to rise due to more deadly strains

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Daily Covid-19 cases are expected to continue increasing over the next fortnight before stabilising, director-general of health Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said, after the country reported a high of 11,097 cases today.

He attributed the expected spike to variants of concern, such as the Delta strain which has been spreading rapidly.

“There are airborne transmissions, which can spread (the virus) within a short period,” he said.


He also said the high number of cases reported today was also due to the increase in testing.

“We did more than 125,000 tests, but this is not enough. We need to increase our testing,” he told a press conference.

Laboratory facilities in the country still have the capacity to increase RT-PCR testing from current levels, which are running at 44%, he added.

Noor Hisham added that the hospitals have been packed to the brim due to the increase in Category 4 and 5 cases, which require a more intense treatment period.

Treatment for a Category 4 case could take an average of 14 days, while category 5 could stretch up to 21 days.

He added that although the number of cases in these categories are not high, the new cases coming in each day have added to the congestion in hospitals.

A Category 4 Covid-19 infection refers to a patient suffering from symptoms of pneumonia, requiring oxygen support, while a Category 5 patient has these symptoms plus multi-organ failure. – TMI