KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 — The number of people infected by Sars-CoV-2 in Malaysia could soon reach the 2.5 million mark as daily positive cases continue to stay in the thousands, with 5,828 more added to the tally as of noon today.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the cumulative number of recorded positive cases is now 2.426 million. The majority of the new cases were local transmissions; only 15 involved infections caught outside the country.

Active cases as of noon today stood at 80,697, some 1,000 less than the previous day. Two-thirds were Category 1 and 2 cases, with either mild or no symptoms, allowing them to quarantine at home.

Category 2 patients with health risks requiring treatment at low-risk Covid-19 treatment centres accounted for 14 per cent of total active cases. Only 6,631 patients, or 7.9 per cent, required hospitalisation. 

Total admissions to intensive care (ICU) to date for both ventilated or without breathing support formed just 0.4 per cent respectively. 

But the national ICU utilisation rate for Covid-19 cases or complications that may stem from the coronavirus registered at a worrying 60 per cent, while the rate of ICU use for Covid-19 cases alone stood at 47.2 per cent.

Ventilators’ utilisation rate is slightly under 42 per cent overall.

All key epidemic indicators have trended positively in the last few weeks, registering a downward trend across the board in a marked departure from the rates seen at the height of the crisis just over a month ago, reflecting the rate of vaccination.

But deaths from Covid-19 complications continued to climb even as the daily fatality rate has been falling since late last month. The average rate of people dying from the disease in the last 14 days has declined by 23 per cent.

The total deaths from the coronavirus as of midnight stood at 28,312 after 76 more Covid-19 related fatalities were reported this morning.

Seventeen of them were brought-in-dead (BID), driving the cumulative BID cases as of midnight up to 5,718.

Some 72 per cent of the country’s 33 million population have been fully inoculated, with the figure slightly higher for those who had been jabbed once. 

But a fifth of Malaysians are still unvaccinated and remain vulnerable to the coronavirus. The unvaccinated account for most of the Covid-19 deaths, although the rate has markedly dropped from its peak in August since more people got inoculated.

Deaths among the partially-vaccinated have also increased since August but are showing signs of decreasing since September.