Malaysia confirms 156 new COVID-19 cases and three more deaths

KUALA LUMPUR (CNA) – Malaysia has confirmed 156 more COVID-19 cases, making the total number of people to test positive as of yesterday 2,626.

Health Director-General Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also said in a press conference that three more deaths have been recorded.

“The Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre has confirmed three more deaths, making the total death tally to 37.

“The three include a 57-year-old diabetes patient with travel history to Indonesia, a 46-year old man in Sarawak and a 46-year-old man with high blood pressure and an auto-immune disease, also from Sarawak.”

On Sunday, Malaysia recorded its highest number of COVID-19 deaths. Eight deaths were recorded with the youngest being a 27-year-old with diabetes and hypertension, while the oldest was a 91-year-old with similar health complications.

A city-hall health official car sprays disinfectant on a street, as a preventive measure against the spread of the coronavirus in Kuala Lumpur. PHOTO: AP

Separately, he said as of noon yesterday, 94 cases were in ICU of which 62 required ventilator support.

Dr Noor Hisham also announced 91 new recoveries, bringing the total tally of recoveries to 479.

He told reporters that among those who attended a mass religious gathering in Sri Petaling from February 27 to March 1, 1,290 people have tested positive so far.

This was the biggest cluster by far, contributing to the spike of cases in Malaysia.

Sixteen thousand people attended the religious gathering and of that number, 14,111 samples were taken and 8,083 tested negative, the director-general said.

“If you really look at it, the Tabligh gathering has spread infections across five generations and it is a high possibility that the infections at the Tahfiz school in Sungai Lui were related to this cluster as well,” he added.

Dr Noor Hisham was referring to 71 students who tested positive at the Maahad Tahfiz An-Nabawiyyah residential school at Batu 23, Sungai Lui.

“Initially when we went in, there were 71 positive cases, when we went in again today it spiked to 90 positive cases in total at the school and one outside,” he said.

There are 274 students in the school.

Following the 71 positive cases on Sunday, the government ordered a full lockdown at seven villages in Sungai Lui in Hulu Langat.

Hulu Langat is the district with the highest number of cases in Selangor. As of noon yesterday, there were 271 positive cases in the district.

The lockdown, referred to as the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO), bars the 4,000 residents in the district from venturing outdoors at all hours.

Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has explained that the Welfare Department will be distributing food to the five villages and two Orang Asli villages affected by the EMCO.

He stressed that visitors were also barred from entering the villages.