KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31 — The number of new Covid-19 cases reported for the fourth epidemiological week (ME4/2022) from January 23-29 increased by 34.6 per cent to 31,980 cases, compared to 23,752 the previous week.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the average number of active cases also rose by 14 per cent, from an average of 40,473 in the third ME to 46,158 in the fourth ME.

“However, the number of fatalities showed a consistent decline of 27.5 per cent, down to 74 deaths in the fourth ME compared to 102 in the third ME.

“This decline has been recorded since ME52/2021. For the record, the last time the number of weekly deaths was at two digits was in ME17/2021, namely 95 cases,” he said in a statement today.

Apart from that, he said the number of patients requiring treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) also showed a drop of 15.5 per cent to 109 cases in the fourth ME compared to 129 in the third ME.

Dr Noor Hisham said the average number of cases requiring respiratory assistance also decreased by 11.5 per cent, with 46 cases in the fourth ME compared to 52 in the third ME.

On the use of hospital beds, he said the rising number of Covid-19 cases linked to the Omicron variant had led to an increase of three per cent.

“Apart from that, the use of PKRC (Low Risk Covid-19 Quarantine and Treatment Centres) also increased by six per cent following a rise in the education cluster, with boarding school students being admitted to the PKRC when there aren’t any suitable isolation places in a bid to reduce the risk of infecting other students and the community,” he said.

He also said that 106 new clusters were reported in the fourth ME, of which 81 were in educational institutions, 19 in workplaces, four in the communities and two in high-risk groups.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said that the number of daily Covid-19 cases in the country dropped to 4,774 today, compared to 4,915 yesterday, taking the cumulative number of infections to 2,870,758 as at noon today.

He said that of the total number of new cases, 36 were in categories three, four and five while the rest were in categories one and two.

“Of the 4,774 cases, 152 were imported cases and 4,622 were local transmissions. A total of 114 patients are also being treated in the ICU, with 62 cases requiring respiratory assistance,” he said, adding that a total of 3,232 recoveries were also reported. — Bernama