By Melati Mohd Ariff
This is a round-up of COVID-19 related matters in Malaysia and globally from Nov 21 up to 12.30 pm today. In Malaysia, case numbers have exceeded 60,000 and globally, the virus has infected more than 61 million people and caused over 1.4 million deaths. More than 200 countries and territories are affected by the pandemic.
KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – Daily new COVID-19 cases reported returned to three figures over the last two days but Malaysia’s total positive cases have now gone past the 60,000 mark.
Beginning with three positive cases that were reported on Jan 25, Malaysia now has a cumulative total of 60,752 COVID-19 cases while its active cases stand at 11,348.
With this, Malaysia has overtaken neighbouring Singapore to occupy the 83rd spot (84th spot last Friday) in the list of countries hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Singapore with 58,190 cases is at the 85th spot.
The nation, however, has reason to rejoice in the substantial number of recoveries recorded over the week. Yesterday, for instance, a record-breaking 2,555 patients were discharged from hospital, bringing the total number of recovered cases to 49,056 (80.7 percent of total cases).
For the week under review, the breakdown of discharged cases is as follows: Wednesday 2,348, Tuesday 1,673, Monday 883, Sunday (Nov 22) 1,104 and Saturday (Nov 21) 1,405.
Sabah accounted for the highest number of recoveries yesterday at 2,126 cases, followed by Selangor (207) and Kuala Lumpur/ Putrajaya (64).
On Wednesday, Sabah accounted for 1,934 recoveries out of the 2,348 cases recorded that day.
Meanwhile, new cases reported this week had hit a record high of 2,188 on Tuesday, with the reason for the spike being the Teratai cluster involving workers of Top Glove Corporation Bhd in Selangor. This cluster alone recorded 1,511 cases that day.
The breakdown for this week’s new cases is as follows: yesterday 935, Wednesday 970, Tuesday 2,188, Monday 1,884, Sunday 1,096, Saturday 1,041.
Yesterday, Sabah reported the highest number of new cases at 326 (34.9 percent), followed by Selangor 161 cases (17.2 percent) and Negeri Sembilan 158 cases (16.9 percent).
FATALITIES AND OTHER CASES
Three more deaths were announced yesterday, which brought Malaysia’s COVID-19 death toll to 348 (0.57 percent of total cases).
The breakdown for this week’s fatalities is as follows: yesterday three, Wednesday four, Tuesday four, Monday two, Sunday three, Saturday three.
Out of the 19 deaths reported over the week, 16 occurred in Sabah, two in Penang and one in Labuan.
Currently, 110 COVID-19 patients are in the intensive care unit, with 45 requiring respiratory aid.
BRINGING TERATAI CLUSTER UNDER CONTROL
The main reason for Malaysia’s daily four-figure new COVID-19 cases is the Teratai cluster which is linked to workers of the Top Glove factory.
The cluster was first announced by the Ministry of Health on Nov 7 and it involved the districts of Klang, Petaling and Hulu Langat in Selangor. A total of 74 positive cases was detected then.
The cluster went on to report a spike in cases and the authorities had to enforce an Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) on Nov 17 at the hostels in Meru, Klang, where some of the factory workers stay.
As of Nov 25, the Teratai cluster had recorded 4,063 COVID-19 cases.
For the record, the cluster accounted for 298 of the 402 new cases reported in Selangor on Nov 21; Nov 22, 502 of the 603 new cases; Nov 23, 1,067 of the 1,203 new cases; and Nov 24, 1,511 of 1,623 new cases
On Wednesday, Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that a special task force would be set up to oversee the screening and quarantine procedures of all Top Glove factory workers, as well as the temporary closure of all 28 Top Glove factories.
The task force will comprise National Security Council (Selangor), Selangor Health Department, Klang District Office, Klang Municipal Council and Klang district police headquarters personnel.
Top Glove has a total of 11,215 workers and as of Nov 24, a total of 5,795 screenings were carried out. As of Nov 24, 20 Top Glove factories were closed temporarily.
The company has also been directed to conduct screenings on 2,263 workers who live outside the EMCO area to prevent the virus from spreading to the community.
Ismail Sabri also announced that all foreign workers in Malaysia must undergo the COVID-19 swab test. For a start, 888,342 workers in Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, Penang, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Sabah will undergo screening.
COVID-19 CASES, CLUSTERS LATEST STATUS
Out of the 345 clusters in Malaysia, 172 have ended. As of yesterday, there were 173 active clusters, including the six new ones reported yesterday.
Forty-four clusters reported new cases yesterday, including Bakti cluster in Negeri Sembilan which recorded 95 cases.
In Sabah, 61 of the 326 new cases reported yesterday were from clusters, including 14 from the new Bot Biru and Blok 31 clusters.
In Negeri Sembilan, 147 of the 158 new cases yesterday were from existing clusters, including 95 from Bakti cluster that involves a prison in Seremban district.
Perak reported 79 new cases yesterday; Johor 60 including 23 from the new Gemilang cluster.
Kuala Lumpur recorded 59 cases yesterday and also announced a new cluster Tapak Bina Sungai Udang; Kelantan 28 including nine from the new Chengal cluster; Kedah 24; Penang 17 including seven from the new Damar Laut cluster; Labuan 13; Putrajaya five; Sarawak four; and Terengganu one.
Meanwhile, out of the six new clusters announced by MOH yesterday, two were in Sabah and one each in Johor, Kuala Lumpur, Kelantan and Penang/Kedah.
The new Bot Biru cluster in Sabah involves Tawau district and as of yesterday, had 17 positive cases. Sabah’s second new cluster, Blok 31, is also in Tawau and has 13 cases so far.
Johor’s new Gemilang cluster involves a logistics firm in Johor Bahru district and has 26 cases as of yesterday.
Kuala Lumpur’s Tapak Bina Sungai Udang cluster involves a construction site in Kepong and has 11 cases as of yesterday.
Kelantan’s new Chengal cluster involves Kota Bharu and Machang districts and has recorded 15 cases so far.
The new Damar Laut cluster involves the northeast and southwest parts of Penang and the district of Padang Terap in Kedah. As of yesterday, it reported three cases.
GLOBAL COVID-19 STATISTICS
According to CoronaTracker (which cites figures from various agencies including the World Health Organisation), the total number of COVID-19 cases worldwide at the time of writing this article stood at 61,302,037 (57,324,718 cases at the same time last Friday) and 1,437,635 deaths (1, 367,435 last Friday). The total number of recoveries stood at 42,393,123.
The United States continues to head the list of badly-hit nations with 13,248,676 cases (12,072,560 last Friday) and 269,555 deaths (258,354 last week).
India is on the second spot with 9,309,871 cases and 135,752 deaths.
Brazil is third with 6,204,570 cases and 171,497 fatalities. Russia is next with 2,187,990 cases and 38,062 deaths, followed by France with 2,183,660 cases and 50,957 deaths.
Another 59 countries have recorded cases exceeding 100,000, namely:
Spain 1,637,844 cases (44,374 deaths), United Kingdom 1,574,562 (57,031), Italy 1,509,875 (52,850), Argentina 1,399,431 (37,941), Colombia 1,280,487 (36,019), Mexico 1,078,594 (104,242), Germany 1,005,307 (15,767), Peru 956,347 (35,785), Poland 941,112 (15,568), Iran 908,346 (46,689), South Africa 778,571 (21,289), Ukraine 677,189 (11,717), Belgium 564,967 (16,077), Chile 545,662 (15,235), Iraq 544,670 (12,125), Indonesia 516,753 (16,352), Czechia 511,520 (7,779), Turkey 503,738 (13,014), Holland 503,123 (9,184), Bangladesh 456,438 (6,524), Romania 449,349 (10,541), Philippines 424,297 (8,242), Pakistan 386,198 (7,843), Saudi Arabia 356,389 (5,840), Canada 353,097 (11,799), Morocco 340,684 (5,619), Israel 333,084 (2,834), Switzerland 313,978 (4,509), Portugal 280,394 (4,209), Austria 266,038 (2,773), Sweden 236,355 (6622), Nepal 227,640 (1,412), Jordan 203,021 (2,509), Hungary 192,047 (4,229), Ecuador 188,138 (13,316), United Arab Emirates 163,967 (564 ), Panama 160,287 (3,018), Serbia 148,214 (1,366), Bolivia 144,390 (8,939), Kuwait 141,547 (872), Dominican Republic 140,922 (2,317), Qatar 138,066 (237), Japan 137,261 (2,022), Bulgaria 136,628 (3,529), Costa Rica 135,742 (1,679), Armenia 130,870 (2,068), Belarus 130,012 (1,128), Kazakhstan 129,213 (1,990), Oman 122,579 (1,391), Lebanon 122,579 (974), Guatemala 120,685 (4,133), Georgia 118,690 (1,124), Egypt 114,107 (6,585), Croatia 111,617 (1,501), Ethiopia 107,109 (1,664), Honduras 106,116 (2,888), Azerbaijan 102,396 (1,224), Moldova 101,203 (1,209) and Venezuela 100,817 (880).
China, where the outbreak was first reported at end-December 2019, is now on the 68th spot with 86,490 cases while its death toll remains unchanged at 4,634.
In Southeast Asia, the Philippines and Indonesia have joined the countries with more than 100,000 cases. Next is Myanmar with 83,205 cases (last Friday 73,322) and 1,846 deaths (1,650 last Friday).
Singapore now has 58,190 cases while its death toll remains at 28. Thailand has recorded 3,942 cases while its death toll remains at 60, followed by Vietnam with 1,331 cases and 35 deaths.
Cambodia’s cases rose slightly to 307 and its death tally remains zero. Brunei’s tally of 141 cases and two deaths, and Laos’ 23 cases and zero fatality remain unchanged.
According to the WHO website, its China country office was informed of cases of pneumonia that were detected in Wuhan on Dec 31, 2019. On Jan 7, the Chinese authorities confirmed that the novel coronavirus can be transmitted from human to human.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-COV).
A study of the virus’ genetic sequence suggested similarities to that seen in snakes and bats. China health officials identified the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan as the source of the transmission of the coronavirus.
On Feb 11, WHO announced the official name of the virus, COVID-19, which is an acronym for coronavirus 2019 – CO stands for corona, VI for virus and D for disease.
On Jan 30, WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak as a global emergency. By then, it had spread to 18 countries and caused 170 deaths. On March 11, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by WHO.
WHO has described the COVID-19 outbreak as much more dangerous than the A H1N1 Influenza, also known as Swine Flu.
Swine Flu, which occurred between January 2009 and August 2010, infected more than 1.6 million people and caused 18,449 fatalities.
The International Monetary Fund has warned that the global economic recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will be worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Translated by Rema Nambiar
Malaysian National News Agency
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