KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 — The Ministry of Health today announced 1,348 new Covid-19 infections nationwide in the last 24 hours, driving up Malaysia’s cumulative cases to 98,737 since the pandemic started.

Malaysia saw 2,062 cases yesterday and 2,018 the day before. The cases first crossed the 2,000 mark on December 10 when it hit 2,234 in a single day.

However, the number of active cases nationwide is currently at 18,279 while 102 patients have been admitted into intensive care wards, 44 of whom need breathing assistance.

Five more Malaysians died from the virus, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced today.

He said two deaths were in Selangor involving two women, a 40-year-old and a 67-year-old.

A 71-year-old man in Kuala Lumpur was the third fatality today. The fourth fatality was a 49-year-old man who dies in Hospital Tuaran, Sabah.

The last fatality was a 68-year-old man in Negri Sembilan. All the five who died today had a history of medical ailments.

Selangor remained in the top spot for most infections for the eighth consecutive day with 535 cases.

Of Selangor’s total, 209 came from existing clusters, 154 from close contact screenings, 12 were imported cases and 160 from Covid-19 screenings.

Kuala Lumpur recorded 226 cases today with 160 coming from existing clusters including 15 from newly detected clusters namely Tapak Bina Jalan Panah and Menara Wang.

Fourteen cases were diagnosed through close contact screenings, four were imported cases, and the remaining 49 from other Covid-19 screenings.

Despite the declining cases index, Sabah also recorded a high number of daily new cases at 189, with 19 cases from existing clusters, 113 from close contact screenings, two imported cases and the remaining 57 from Covid-19 screenings done.

The remaining states that recorded new cases are Melaka (124), Johor (118), Pahang (45), Penang (43), Negri Sembilan (31), Perak (eight), Sarawak, Putrajaya and Kelantan (four each), Labuan (two) and Terengganu with one case.

Dr Noor Hisham also announced 710 recoveries, bringing the total number of those discharged to 80,014.