KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia recorded an increasing trend in the average number of active COVID-19 cases for the second Epidemiological Week (ME 2/2022) from Jan 9 to 15, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
He said average active cases increased by 2.4 per cent to 39,507 cases in ME 2/2022, from 38,581 cases in ME 1/2022 (Jan 2 to 8).
A 0.7 per cent increase was also recorded for new cases, from 21,859 cases (ME 1/2022) to 22,006 cases (ME 2/2022), he said.
“However, the number of deaths showed a consistent drop of 11.3 per cent, with 126 fatalities in ME 2/2022 compared to 142 fatalities in ME 1/2022. This drop was recorded beginning ME 52/2021,” he said in a statement today.
Dr Noor Hisham said cases requiring treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) also dropped eight per cent to 185 cases (ME 2/2022) from 201 cases (ME 1/2022), with a decrease being consistently reported the past nine weeks since ME 45/2021.
He said cases requiring ventilators also dropped 18.1 per cent to 68 cases (ME 2/2022) from 83 cases (ME 1/2022), with the average numbers continuing a downward trend for 21 weeks since ME 33/2021.
Meanwhile, he said education centres accounted for 15 of the 43 new clusters reported in ME 2/2022, followed by workplaces (10), community (nine), high-risk groups (five), imports (three) and religious entity (one).
“The education and community clusters increased sharply by 400 per cent and 350 per cent respectively in ME 2/2022 compared to ME 1/2022, following the reopening of the schooling session throughout the country on Jan 9.
“The increase in education clusters should be viewed seriously by all quarters because it can result in a wider infection among students, teachers, workers at education institutions, their family members and subsequently spread to the community,” he said.
On hospital capacity, Dr Noor Hisham said the use of non-ICU beds and beds at Low-Risk COVID-19 Quarantine and Treatment Centres (PKRC) showed an increase in ME 2/2022 compared to ME 1/2022, while the use of ICU beds and ventilators showed a drop of two per cent during the same period.
He said in preparation for a possible surge in Omicron cases, the Health Ministry (MOH) was ready to use district hospitals as hybrid hospitals to treat COVID-19 cases in categories one to three.
He said MOH was also prepared to refer categories four and five patients to specialist hospitals and place stable patients under monitoring at home via the COVID-19 Assessment Centre (CAC) until the end of the isolation period, apart from using antiviral drugs identified earlier at the CAC and PKRC levels.