KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 — The Health Ministry (MoH) recorded 17,134 new Covid-19 cases today, continuing a streak of increasing daily cases over the past week.

Today’s number is over 3,000 more than yesterday’s 13,944.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today that 70 per cent of hospital beds prepared for Covid-19 patients are currently being utilised — which is a 2.7 per cent increase from yesterday.

This is the first time that the number of daily cases has breached the 17,000-mark since September 17, 2021.

Covid-19 intensive care unit (ICU) utilisation went up by 1.4 per cent today, to 52.1 per cent.

However, the percentage of Covid-19 patients under Categories 3, 4, and 5 — meaning they have a lung infection, need oxygen or worse — remained relatively low.

Only 0.5 per cent (86 people) of the 83,071 active Covid-19 cases today were in those higher categories, while 99.5 per cent (17,048 people) were in Categories 1 and 2.

Category 1 patients are those who don’t have any Covid-19 symptoms, while Category 2 encompasses those with less dangerous symptoms such as a flu, sore throat, tiredness and fever.

Yesterday, 0.52 per cent were in Categories 3, 4 and 5; while 99.48 per cent were in Categories 1 and 2

Another 3,052 patients recovered from the disease, leaving the country’s Covid-19 recovery rate at 95.7 per cent.

The national infectivity rate (Rt) is at 1.39. Also, none of the states or Federal Territories had an individual Rt of below 1, with the highest being in Sarawak (1.68), Perlis (1.65) and Sabah (1.59).

The three lowest Rt records were found in Melaka (1.20), Kuala Lumpur (1.18), and Negri Sembilan (1.14).

Fifteen new clusters were identified today, bringing the number of active clusters to 385.

Updates on VoC

From February 3 to 9, MoH detected 280 cases involving variants of concern (VoC). Of these, 185 cases involved the Delta variant, while 95 cases involved Omicron.

The three states where the most new Delta variant cases were found in this period are Penang (139), Pahang (17), and Selangor (12).

For Omicron, the states with the three highest numbers were Pahang (21), Negri Sembilan (18) and Johor (15). Selangor had six Omicron cases.

Kuala Lumpur had no Delta cases, but recorded 14 cases involving Omicron.

Cumulatively, MoH has recorded 6,435 cases with the Delta variant, 696 cases of the Omicron variant, 233 cases with the Beta variant and 14 cases with the Alpha variant..