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COVID-19: Kepong, Klang now red zones, Lembah Pantai and Hulu Langat top two districts nationwide

KUALA LUMPUR (March 28): Kepong and Klang are now officially red zones or COVID-19 hotspots with more than 40 cases each, and Lembah Pantai continues to record the highest number of COVID-19 patients while Hulu Langat has overtaken Petaling Jaya in terms of COVID-19 case numbers, according to the Malay Mail today citing the latest data released yesterday.

In the latest available numbers as of March 26 noon in new maps released by the health director-general yesterday, Lembah Pantai in Kuala Lumpur continues to be in the top two spots at 208 cases out of 2,031 cases, followed by Hulu Langat in Selangor at 186 cases, Petaling Jaya in Selangor at 176 cases, Seremban in Negri Sembilan at 85 and Kluang in Johor at 83.

This is in comparison to previous maps released, with March 21 noon figures showing Petaling Jaya (96), Lembah Pantai (90), Hulu Langat (75), while March 23 noon figures showed Lembah Pantai (176), Petaling Jaya (158), Hulu Langat (103), and March 25 noon figures showing both Lembah Pantai and Petaling Jaya at 167 cases each while Hulu Langat's recorded cases then were 132 cases.

The Malay Mail said these three areas had always been in the top three districts in terms of COVID-19 cases in the past four releases, but the March 26 figures released yesterday is the first time that Hulu Langat has occupied the second highest spot.

According to the Health Ministry's designation of hotspots, districts with the colour code of orange is for those where between 20 and 40 COVID-19 cases have been recorded, while those known as the red zones are where more than 40 cases have been reported.

The Malay Mail reported that the number of hotspots designated as red zones has continued to grow in tandem with the increase in the total cumulative confirmed COVID-19 cases every day.

For example, on March 21, there were only six COVID-19 red zones nationwide (including Johor Baru, Seremban, Titiwangsa) and 12 orange zones nationwide (including three in Sabah and Sarawak), but this then increased on March 24 to 10 red zones (with the additions of Gombak, Kota Bahru, Tawau, Kuching) while there were 10 orange zones nationwide (as Gombak, Tawau, and Kuching were recategorised as red zones while Kota Kinabalu was added on).

As of March 25, the number of red zones nationwide further increased to 13 (with the additions of Kluang, Hilir Perak, Kinta that were originally orange zones) and there were nine orange zones nationwide (with Timur Laut and Rembau added on).

Based on the March 26 figures released yesterday, there are now 15 red zones throughout Malaysia, while there are eight orange zones (with the addition of Kota Setar) throughout the country.

This is due to Kepong in Kuala Lumpur and Klang in Selangor joining the list of red zones as of March 26, with Kepong at 45 cases up from 38 cases on March 25, while Klang is at 44 cases up from 35 cases on March 25.

In the March 25 figures, there were a total of 39 districts spread out over seven states in Malaysia that still had not recorded any COVID-19 cases, with the bulk of these districts being in Sabah (11 districts) and Sarawak (19 districts).

But in the March 26 figures released yesterday, three districts were no longer categorised as free of COVID-19 cases, namely Pokok Sena in Kedah, Cameron Highlands in Pahang, Tanah Merah in Kelantan.

Instead, the March 26 figures showed that Cameron Highlands has one COVID-19 case, while Tanah Merah also has one case recorded.

So as of March 26, there are only 36 districts which have yet to have records of COVID-19 cases.

The Malay Mail warned that residents in COVID-19-free districts should not be complacent.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had the day before urged such residents to play their part in ensuring that their respective districts maintain a record of zero COVID-19 cases, by taking several precautionary measures.

The Health Ministry's poster containing the map of such districts as of March 25 had urged residents to practise the four precautionary steps of complying with the government's movement control order by staying at home; frequent washing of hands with soap and water or use of hand sanitiser; practising social distancing by staying 1m apart from others; and making purchases and payments online instead of physically.

In the latest figures available, the Health Ministry said the total number of confirmed cases in Malaysia as of March 27 noon is 2,161 cases.

Malaysia also continued to record new deaths, with the death toll for COVID-19 now at 26.

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