Younger people are becoming more susceptible to severe Covid-19 infections and are being admitted to intensive care units (ICU), said Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
The director-general of health said new variants of the coronavirus could be causing more severe infections in younger patients, compared with the earlier days of the pandemic when the worst affected were older patients and those with comorbidities.
The newer variants of the virus also seem to be causing the need for respiratory support in patients, he said.
“There are young patients with severe symptoms, (they) need the help of a ventilator and do not respond to treatment,” he said at a press conference in Putrajaya today.
“In such cases, we are doing a genomic study to identify whether there is variant infection among them.”
He said younger people, aged between 20 and 39, were now at higher risk of contracting the virus.
In the 20 to 29 age group, there were 1,531 people who were infected with Covid-19 from January 1 to May 7, he said.
In the 30 to 39 age group, there were 1,452 people infected in the same period.
In other age groups during the same period, there were 403 cases for those aged 0 to 9 years old, 10 to 19 (579 cases), 40 to 49 (969 cases), 50 to 59 (756 cases), 60 to 69 (639 cases), 70 to 79 (502 cases) and above 80 (468 cases).
Noor Hisham also said Malaysia recorded 1,161 deaths from the beginning of this year until May 7, compared with 471 deaths last year.
He said hospitals in the Klang Valley have reached a critical point where they have exceeded 70% of capacity for Covid-19 patients.
“The beds in ICU and non-ICU wards in the hospitals have passed their 70% capacity for Covid-19 patients, especially in the Klang Valley, where we are seeing increasing cases.
“Some hospitals have also reached 100% capacity,” he said, adding that hospitals are now looking to accommodate those in the critical stage who are in Category 4 and 5. – TMI