Malaysia COVID-19 cases rise with imported cases, immigration detention centre cluster

KUALA LUMPUR (XINHUA) – Malaysia reported 78 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the national total to 7,137, the Health Ministry said yesterday.

Malaysian Health Ministry Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said at a press briefing that of the new cases, 25 are import cases while 53 are local transmissions.

Of the local transmissions, 40 are foreigners of whom 25 are from a new cluster identified in an immigration detention centre on Thursday on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.

Another 63 cases have been released bringing the total cured and discharged to 5,859, or 82.1 per cent of all cases.

One new death had been reported, with the victim having suffered from other health problems prior to being infected, pushing the total deaths to 115.

Meanwhile Defence Minister Ismail Sabri told a separate press conference that detainees and staff at two immigration detention centres, one in Selangor state besides the one with an active cluster would be screened for COVID-19.

Ismail Sabri said the virus may have spread as the migrants there were staying in dormitories, not individual rooms, with test results for over 1,200 detainees still pending, while 114 staff had tested negative.

He added that steps had been taken to reduce the spread of the infection and new standard operating procedures had been implemented.

Devotees attend Friday prayers at the state mosque in Penang. PHOTO: AFP