Covid-19: Number of cases to stabilise in a week

PUTRAJAYA – The Ministry of Health (MOH) expects the number of COVID-19 daily cases in the country to stabilise at 3,000 within a period of one week.

Health director-general, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said after this period, the ministry would review the need to extend the Movement Control Order (MCO) for another two weeks.

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“The expected number of daily cases a week ago was due to exposure to the virus during the incubation period and now the cases could be detected.

“The cases are increasing although we’ve implemented the MCO 2.0 on Jan 13 but the result has yet to be seen,” he said at the news conference on the developments of COVID-19, here, today.

He said the MOH also expected an increase in the number of cases in the next two to three days.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said implementation of the MCO nationwide except Sarawak was following the surge in cases including in Klang Valley due to cross-district and cross-state travel and activities.

He said the MOH would look at the developments in the next one or two days before looking at the need to tighten the MCO including in the economic sector.

On the on-going spread of the viral infection at the detention depots and prisons involving prisoners and the staff, Dr Noor Hisham said this was due to congestion and transfer of detainees to the courts or prisons.

He said that up to Jan 18 (yesterday), there were 28 clusters reported during the third wave of outbreak and out of this number, 20 were from index cases and seven reportedly from targeted screening.

“From the figure, 14 clusters involved prisoners as the index cases, five clusters involved prison officers while two involved police personnel.

“Up to Jan 18, 53,357 screenings have been conducted, with 16,692 cases found to be positive,” he added.

Umno leaders test positive

Two Umno leaders meanwhile, have been reported to test positive for Covid-19, one of them Terengganu UMNO Liaison Committee chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Said.

His wife, Toh Puan Seri Norliza Mahmud has also been confirmed positive.

The former Terengganu menteri besar said he had taken a swab test three days ago after feeling unwell, and received the result today.

“I took the test because I felt unwell recently. I felt very tired while gardening when it’s usually a normal routine for me.

“My wife and I are receiving treatment at Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital, Kuala Terengganu, and are in stable condition. Thank you to all who prayed for us both,” he said when contacted by Bernama tonight.

The Kijal assemblyman also urged those who had come in contact with him recently to get tested as soon as possible.

The other Umno leader who tested positive was Padang Rengas MP Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.

Nazri said he took the swab test at the Raja Perempuan Zainab Hospital in Kota Bharu, Kelantan, as he was in the state yesterday.

He said he took the test after discovering that he was in close contact to a blogger, Zaharin Mohd Yasin, who attended his press conference in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 12 and was tested positive for COVID-19.

“Yesterday, after discovering that he (Zaharin) was tested positive, I rushed to the hospital and took the test. When the result came back positive, I continue to undergo quarantine at the hospital.

“I’m okay, just coughing a little yesterday, but getting better,” he said when contacted.

When asked about his wife and son, Mohamed Nazri simply said: “They are okay.”

Under quarantine

Meanwhile, Pasir Salak MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said he was currently undergoing quarantine at his home in the capital as he had been in close contact with both Mohamed Nazri and Zaharin.

The chairman of Prasarana Malaysia Berhad (Prasarana) said this was because he had attended Mohamed Nazri’s press conference on Jan 12.

According to Tajuddin, his swab test had been taken at a private medical center in Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur at 3 pm, and the results are expected to be obtained within 24 hours.

“I did the test for my own safety as well. Thankfully, I am in good health so far,” he said today.

Home surveillance order

Kelantan meanwhile has begun to implement the Home Surveillance Order (HSO) for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients since last week, so as to reduce congestion at the hospitals and quarantine centres in the state.

State Local Government, Housing and Health Committee chairman Dr Izani Husin said the COVID-19 Quarantine and Low Risk Treatment Centre (PKRC) in Dewan Jubli Perak and Nursing College in Kota Bharu, as well as Dewan Sivik in Gua Musang, have almost reached their maximum capacity.

“However, the condition of the patients and their houses will be assessed, whereby senior citizens and children will be treated at the PKRC.

“Patients (under HSO) will be monitored closely and they will be contacted by health personnel every day,” he told reporters after the COVID-19 technical meeting here, today.

Izani said the state government was also ready to open additional PKRC in several districts.

The number of COVID-19 patients in Kelantan to date is 1,032, which among others, are caused by travellers who returned to the state during the recent Christmas holiday, and neglect of the standard operating procedures to curb the spread of the pandemic.