KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 — The Health Ministry today announced 78 new Covid-19 cases, of which 25 were Malaysians returning from abroad.
This brings the local infection tally to 7,137 cases, with 1,163 active cases still receiving treatment as of noon today.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also announced that 63 recoveries were recorded over the last 24-hour period, bringing the total number of cured patients to 5,859 or 82.1 per cent of the total number of infections.
Of the 78 new cases, Dr Noor Hisham explained that 53 were local transmissions, with 40 involving foreigners, 25 of which were detected at the Bukit Jalil Immigration Department’s custody depot cluster which was announced yesterday.
Dr Noor Hisham said, to date, nine Covid-19 patients remained in intensive care units (ICU) across the country, with five still requiring breathing aid, down from the seven patients recorded yesterday.
He also announced one additional death, bringing the number of fatalities in Malaysia to 115, with a mortality rate of 1.61 per cent.
“The 115th death was a Malaysian male aged 65, and he had a background of diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease.
“He was treated at Sungai Buloh Hospital, in Selangor on April 3, 2020 and was pronounced dead on May 21, 2020 at 2.58pm,” he said during his daily Covid-19 briefing.
In light of the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri festivities, Dr Noor Hisham said that while this year’s celebration was different from others, he reminded Malaysians to maintain high levels of hygiene and follow the standard operating procedures put in place to avoid further spreading of Covid-19.
He said following the 53 episodes of food poisoning that involved 1,995 cases as registered by the Health Ministry over the Ramadan month, strict care should be taken when preparing food during the festive period.
Dr Noor Hisham advised Malaysians to maintain personal hygiene by frequently washing their hands with soap before handling food, and to always use fresh and washed raw ingredients.
He also urged that separate utensils be used when handling cooked and raw food, to make sure food is prepared properly and ensuring it is consumed within four hours, while warning that leftovers should be kept in a cool place and should not be stored in the fridge for longer than three days.
He also advised Malaysians to try their best and avoid the three Cs, which stands for crowded and confined places, and close conversations to further ward off the threat of Covid-19 during the festive period.