KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia reported a record 199 COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday (Jul 21), its deadliest day since the start of the pandemic.
Thirty-three of the victims were brought in dead as the national death toll reached 7,440.
The health ministry said 927 patients are currently in the intensive care unit, with 459 requiring respiratory support.
There were also 11,985 new COVID-19 cases, the ninth consecutive day that Malaysia has reported more than 10,700 new infections.
More than half of the new cases were from the Klang Valley area with 5,550 in Selangor and 1,174 in Kuala Lumpur.
READ: Upholding spirit of charity: Malaysian Muslims step up aid this Aidiladha as more seek help amid COVID-19
Neighbouring state Negeri Sembilan recorded 745 cases while Kedah and Johor logged 800 and 644 infections respectively.
Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said 48.9 per cent of the new cases were asymptomatic while 48.7 per cent had mild symptoms.
A total of 178 cases or 1.5 per cent had lung infections while 45 cases or 0.4 per cent required oxygen support. The remaining 65 cases or 0.5 per cent are on ventilators in critical condition.
Malaysia entered its third nationwide lockdown on Jun 1, shortly after it breached the 9,000 mark for new cases for the first time on May 29.
Numbers reached record highs again on Jul 9 and Jul 10, with more than 9,100 cases on each day before it breached the five-figure mark for the first time on Jul 13.
COMMENTARY: A different Malaysia may emerge from the ashes of its COVID-19 crisis
The surge in cases comes amid a variety of issues currently burdening the country, including a political tussle among party leaders as well as calls to reopen parliament.
Government contract doctors have voiced frustration with lack of job security and benefits, despite gruelling hours on the frontline of Malaysia’s already strained healthcare system.
Citizens have also taken to the Internet to air their displeasure with the current leaders under the hashtag #KerajaanGagal (failed government).
They have also established a grassroots “white flag” movement in a bid to help those who are the worst-hit by the pandemic and inadequately supported by government relief efforts.
As of Wednesday, Malaysia has reported a total of 951,884 COVID-19 cases of which 137,587 cases are active or infectious.
BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and its developments
Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak: https://cna.asia/telegram