KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 — Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah today said that the recent increase in active cases is linked with the reallowing of travel through state borders.
In a statement, Dr Noor Hisham said that the average of active cases last week (November 14 to November 20) had increased by six per cent compared to the week before — with November 15 marking five weeks since state borders reopened.
However, Dr Noor Hisham said that many of the main indicators for Covid-19 infections showed a trend of reduction, such as the number of people dying from the disease, and average intensive care unit (ICU) bed usage as well as average ventilator usage in hospitals.
Deaths reduced by 7.5 per cent last week, compared to the week before, while average ICU bed usage went down by 10.3 per cent, along with 3.8 per cent for average ventilator usage.
Dr Noor Hisham also said that last week saw a marginal rise in community clusters, which had been steadily reducing since epidemiology week 30 (July 25 to July 31) — last week had five community clusters, compared to the three such clusters in the week before.
“The increase in these community clusters is not something that can be taken lightly given that individuals of various age groups live together in the same household.
“At the same time, those under 12 years old are those who have not received Covid-19 vaccination and have a high probability of being affected if they are infected with Covid-19 from their family members,” he said.
However, total active clusters saw a reduction of 13.7 per cent, from 278 cases two weeks ago to 240 cases last week — largely attributable to a drop in clusters at workplaces and educational institutions.
Nevertheless, the number of non-ICU beds used by Covid-19 patients at hospitals and quarantine centres nationwide went up by two per cent.
The actual number of ICU bed usage — as opposed to the average number mentioned earlier — went up by three per cent in the same period, while the number of ventilators being used dropped by 1 per cent.
Despite this, Dr Noor Hisham said that the “effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccine in reducing mortality continues to be seen” mentioning the decrease in deaths, and the average cases requiring treatment in the ICU, and average cases requiring ventilators.