KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia reported a record daily number of COVID-19 fatalities on Tuesday (May 18) with 47 deaths, bringing the national death toll since the start of the pandemic to 1,994.
The country’s two previous records for daily COVID-19 fatalities were recorded in the last week – 44 deaths on May 15 and 39 deaths on May 12.
The deaths reported on Tuesday comprise 46 citizens and one foreigner, aged 33 to 94 years. Many of them had a medical history of diabetes and high blood pressure.
Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah also announced 4,865 new COVID-19 cases. Most of the new infections were in the Klang Valley area with 1,743 cases in Selangor and 477 cases in Kuala Lumpur.
There were a total of 512 new cases in Sarawak, 407 new cases in Johor, and 220 new infections in Penang.
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In the health ministry’s weekly report for the period of May 9 to May 15, the authorities noted a 53.7 per cent increase in daily COVID-19 deaths compared to the previous week.
As of Tuesday, Malaysia has logged a total of 479,421 COVID-19 cases. A total of 44,827 of these are currently classified as active or infectious cases, with 531 patients in the intensive care unit. Of these, 277 require respiratory support.
The number of people in the intensive care unit has increased by 30.4 per cent, with 25 per cent more patients requiring respiratory support, figures from the ministry show. The number of new infections also increased by 15.9 per cent.
Nineteen new clusters were identified. Seven of these involve workplaces while five stemmed from religious activities. Four other clusters are in the community while three are at education institutions.
Malaysia now has a total of 497 active clusters.
Health authorities in recent days have implored members of the public to stay at home and minimise non-essential activities.
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“Our clinicians voiced their helplessness and frustration, (and are) struggling to secure ICU beds for their patients in these unprecedented times,” Dr Noor Hisham tweeted on Sunday.
Intensive care units are overwhelmed by the demand for more beds every day, not just for COVID-19 patients but also for many critical non-coronavirus cases, he added.
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