Saturday, 16 Jan 2021
FEATURES
04/12/2020 06:59 PM

By Melati Mohd Ariff

This is a round-up of COVID-19 related matters in Malaysia and globally from Nov 28 up to 12.30 pm today. In Malaysia, case numbers have exceeded 69,000 and globally, the virus has infected nearly 65 million people and caused about 1.5 million deaths. More than 200 countries and territories are affected by the pandemic.

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – Existing active and new clusters are the chief contributors to the daily spike in new COVID-19 cases in Malaysia.

During the week under review, new daily cases mostly hovered around four-digit figures. As of yesterday, there were 184 active clusters with 43 of them reporting new cases. A total of 189 clusters have ended so far.

Among the most dominant clusters that are pushing up daily cases to over 1,000 is the Teratai cluster, first announced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Nov 7 with 74 positive cases.

This cluster involved Top Glove Corporation Bhd factory workers in the districts of Klang, Kuala Selangor, Petaling and Hulu Langat.


MOH staff in personal protective gear waiting to take workers from a hostel in George Town to hospital. --fotoBERNAMA (2020) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The steep hike in cases forced the government to enforce an Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) on Nov 17 at the workers’ hostels in Meru, Klang. On Nov 25, the government ordered 28 Top Glove factories to halt their operations temporarily.

The highest number of COVID-19 infections reported by this cluster was 1,511 on Nov 24. The same day, Malaysia recorded a record total of 2,188 new cases nationwide.

On Tuesday (Dec 1), the Teratai cluster accounted for 778 of the 891 new cases reported in Selangor. On Wednesday, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the cluster has already spread to the community outside the Top Glove workers’ hostels.

He told a media briefing that MOH has detected 150 infections in the community that were linked to the Teratai cluster.

Top Glove has a workforce of 11,125. Its management has been ordered to carry out screening on 2,263 workers who do not reside in the hostels or quarters provided by the company.

As of now, out of the 6,609 individuals screened, 5,083 tested positive for COVID-19.

For the record, during the week under review (Nov 28-Dec 3), a total of 24 new clusters had emerged – yesterday four, Wednesday five, Tuesday two, Monday three, Sunday four and Saturday six. Ten of these clusters were in Sabah.

 

DAILY CASES, OTHER RELATED CASES


All quiet at a shopping complex in Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, following the enforcement of CMCO. --fotoBERNAMA (2020) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Yesterday, 1,075 new COVID-19 cases (three of them imported) were reported, bringing the cumulative number of infections in the country to 69,095.

On the global front, Malaysia has overtaken Singapore to occupy the 82nd spot in the list of countries swept by the pandemic. Singapore is on the 86th spot (last week 83rd) with 58,239 cases and 29 fatalities.

As of yesterday, Malaysia’s active cases stood at 10,802.  The breakdown for this week’s new cases is as follows: yesterday 1,075, Wednesday 851, Tuesday 1,472, Monday 1,212, Saturday 1,309 and Sunday 1,315.

Recoveries remained high with 948 patients discharged yesterday, 408 of whom were in Sabah, followed by Selangor (268) and Perak (118).


Army personnel patrolling an area at Putra Point Nilai where EMCO has been enforced. --fotoBERNAMA (2020) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Malaysia’s total number of recovered cases now stands at 57,917 (83.8 percent of total COVID-19 cases).

The breakdown for this week’s recovered cases is as follows: Wednesday 658, Tuesday 1,552, Monday 2,112, Sunday 1,333 and Saturday 1,110.

Eleven deaths (the highest number reported in a single day since the start of the outbreak), all involving Malaysians, were reported yesterday, bringing Malaysia’s COVID-19 death toll to 376 (0.54 percent of total cases).

Yesterday, Selangor accounted for three fatalities, Sabah two and Johor two while Negeri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Kelantan accounted for one each.

The breakdown for this week’s deaths is as follows: Wednesday two, Tuesday three, Monday three, Sunday three and Saturday four.

Currently, 116 patients are in the intensive care unit with 46 requiring respiratory aid.

 

YESTERDAY’S CASE DETAILS


Frontline medical staff in personal protective gear examining workers at a construction site in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur. --fotoBERNAMA (2020) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

According to the details of the new COVID-19 cases reported yesterday, Selangor accounted for 459 cases (including one imported case), out of which 307 were from clusters, including the new Monsoon cluster. This cluster involves Petaling district and it reported 19 positive cases.

Sabah reported 310 cases, 59 of which were from clusters including the new Jalan Kilang, Perdana Enam and Jalan Kubota clusters.

The Jalan Kilang cluster involves factory workers in Lahad Datu district and it reported 24 cases. The Perdana Enam cluster involves Lahad Datu district and has 25 positive cases. The Jalan Kubota cluster is in Tawau district and it reported 24 positive cases.

Johor reported 78 new cases yesterday, 63 of which were from existing clusters; Negeri Sembilan 52 cases, 45 of which were from existing clusters; Kuala Lumpur 49 cases (one imported case), 19 of which were from existing clusters; and Penang 43 cases, 36 of  which were from existing clusters.


Masjid Al-Mustaghfirin Sungai Tiram, Jalan Sultam Azlan Shah, has been closed temprarily. --fotoBERNAMA (2020) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Kedah, meanwhile, reported 32 new cases, 24 of which were from existing clusters; Perak 26 cases, 23 from existing clusters; Labuan nine cases (one imported case); Kelantan nine cases, seven from existing clusters; Pahang four cases; Melaka two cases; and Sarawak and Terengganu one each.

 

GLOBAL COVID-19 STATISTICS


Current worldwide statistics on COVID-19 and COVID-19 case summary in Malaysia. www.coronatracker.com

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 65,528,133 (61,412,579 cases at the same time last Friday) and 1,511,726 deaths (1,439,993 last Friday). The total number of recoveries stood at 45,371,073.

The United States continues to head the list of badly-hit nations with 14,535,196 cases (13,249,447 last Friday) and 282,829 deaths (269,597 last week).

India is on the second spot with 9,571,780 cases and 139,227 deaths. 

Brazil is third with 6,487,516 cases and 175,307 fatalities. Russia is next with 2,375,546 cases and 41,607 deaths, followed by France with 2,257,331 cases and 54,140  deaths.

Another 61 countries have recorded cases exceeding 100,000, namely: 

Spain 1,693,591 cases (46,038 deaths), United Kingdom 1,674,134 (60,113), Italy 1,664,829 (58,038),  Argentina 1,447,732 (39,305), Colombia 1,343,322 (37,305), Mexico 1,144,643 (108,173), Germany 1,128,742 (18,260), Poland 1,028,610 (18,828), Iran 1,003,494 (49,348), Peru 968,846 (36,104), South Africa 800,872 (21,803)Ukraine 772,760 (12,960), Turkey 733,261 (14,316), Belgium 582,252 (16,911), Iraq 558,767 (12,361), Indonesia 557,877 (17,355), Chile 555,406 (15,519), Holland 538,050 (9,565), Czechia 537,663 (8,641),  Romania 492,211 (11,876), Bangladesh 471,739 (6,748), Philippines 435,413 (8,446), Pakistan 406,810 (8,205), Canada 396,270 (12,407), Morocco 368,624 (6,063), Saudi Arabia 358,102 (5,930), Israel 341,042 (2,891), Switzerland 335,660 (5,045), Portugal 303,846 (4,645), Austria 289,461 (3,446), Sweden 266,158 (6,972),  Nepal 236,246 (1,538), Hungary 231,844 (5,324), Jordan 227,208 (2,854), Serbia 199,158 (1,765), Ecuador 195,884 (13,612), United Arab Emirates 172,751 (585), Panama 171,219 (3,141), Bulgaria 155,193  (4,503),  Japan 152,827 (2,213), Georgia 147,636 (1,387),  Dominican Republic 146,009 (2,335), Bolivia 145,186 (8,982),  Kuwait 143,574 (884), Costa Rica 142,505 (1,757), Belarus 141,609 (1,181), Qatar 139,477 (239), Croatia 139,415 (1,964), Armenia 138,508 (2,254), Croatia 134,881 (1,916), Kazakhstan 133,887 (1,990), Lebabon 131,297 (1,055), Azerbaijan 129,544 (1,470), Oman 124,145 (1,430), Guatemala 123,460 (4,191), Egypt 116,724 (6,694), Ethiopia 110,984 (1,715), Moldova 110,580 (1,343), Greece 109,655 (2,606),  Slovakia 109,226 (898), Honduras 109,144 (2,930) and Venezuela 103,067 (905). 

China, where the outbreak was first reported at end-December 2019, is now on the 72nd spot with 86,567 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 93,600 cases (last Friday 85,205) and 1,998 deaths (1,846 last Friday).

Singapore now has 58,239 cases while its death toll is 29. Thailand has recorded 4,039 cases while its death toll remains at 60, followed by Vietnam with 1,358 cases and 35 deaths.

Cambodia’s cases rose slightly to 331 and its death tally remains zero. There are no changes to Brunei’s tally of 141 cases and two deaths, and Laos’ 39 cases and zero fatality.

 

COVID-19 BACKGROUND

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

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