KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 — Covid-19 cases in the country continue to slope downwards as the Ministry of Health reported 20,923 new infections in the last 24 hours, pushing both critical and regular bed utilisation down in most hospitals across states.

Only five states have a critical bed utilisation rate of above 50 per cent but still much lower than the rate recorded two weeks ago. Kuala Lumpur’s Intensive Care Unit bed usage is now at 70 per cent, followed by Putrajaya at 67 per cent. 

ICU bed use in Johor, Penang and Selangor were at 59, 57, and 53 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, regular bed usage in Putrajaya and Selangor were at 76 and 70 per cent as of March 26. The other five states with a bed utilisation rate of more than 50 per cent were Kuala Lumpur (59%), Melaka (57%), Terengganu (56%), Sarawak (51%) and Perak (50%).

From total daily cases, over 99 per cent were category one and two patients. 

Category 3,4 and 5 patients (those with mild severity to severe symptoms) were 44, 26, 45 respectively. From the three categories, those that have received 2 doses accounted 41 per cent while close to 30 per cent consisted of patients that had received their booster jabs.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said 73 critical cases involved patients aged 60 above mostly with history of chronic illnesses.

A total of 979 patients required hospitalisation, with 58.2 per cent consisting of category 1 and 2 whose conditions later deteriorated. 25,467 patients have been discharged or have recovered on March 26.

The drop in aggregate cases have brought the infectivity rate down significantly, with the densely populated Selangor being the only state to have a Rt value of over 1, at 1.08.  Other states have a Rt value of below 1.

Dr Noor Hisham said public health authorities will continue to beef up efforts to contain the coronavirus disease, as he urged the public to remain vigilant and observe the necessary health protocols.

The Malaysian government said the country is now moving towards “a transition to endemic phase”, and is set to reopen its borders April 1.