KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia reported 8,868 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday (Jul 8), the country’s second highest daily infection count since the start of the pandemic.
More than half of the new infections were in the Klang Valley area with 4,152 in Selangor and 1,133 in the capital Kuala Lumpur. A further 897 cases were found in neighbouring state Negeri Sembilan.
There were also a record 135 new fatalities, taking the national death toll to 5,903, said the health ministry. The country’s previous record was 126 deaths on Jun 2.
A total of 119 of the deaths reported on Thursday were Malaysian citizens, said health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah.
There were 952 patients in the intensive care unit, with 445 on respiratory support, he added.
Malaysia previously reported a record 9,020 coronavirus cases on May 29, prompting stricter safety measures in certain states before a third nationwide lockdown was imposed on Jun 1.
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Despite the extended lockdown, cases have been on the uptrend this week with new daily COVID-19 cases staying above the 6,000 mark after dipping to the 5,000 range at the end of June.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin previously said that curbs would not ease until daily cases fell below 4,000.
The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) on Wednesday withdrew its support for the Perikatan Nasional government led by Muhyiddin and called for his resignation.
In a late night online press conference held after UMNO’s supreme council meeting, UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi criticised the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“UMNO urges Muhyiddin Yasin to withdraw honourably to enable a new prime minister to be appointed for a limited period,” he said.
He added that the new prime minister would only focus efforts on the people’s welfare throughout the pandemic, handle COVID-19 with an inclusive approach and ensure the vaccination and immunisation process could be sped up.
Many Malaysians have been hard hit by the extended lockdown, with some turning to the “white flag” movement as they seek assistance.
The country’s health system also continues to be overwhelmed by the increasing number of critically ill patients, with many victims also succumbing to the coronavirus before they can seek medical attention.
Health ministry data showed that there were 670 “brought in dead” cases from January to Jul 2.
As of Thursday, Malaysia had reported a total of 808,658 COVID-19 cases, of which 77,275 were active or infectious.
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