KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 27): Malaysia’s new Covid-19 cases dropped to 1,196 today compared with the record 2,335 reported yesterday, but the number of active cases — patients who carry high transmission risk — currently stands at 20,233 cases, after it passed the 20,000-mark yesterday.

Active cases have been observed to be steadily increasing since Dec 9 at 10,748 patients at the time, until almost doubling today within the span of 18 days. Today was also the 17th consecutive day Malaysia saw a four-digit figure for new cases.

It is worth noting that Health Minister Dr Adham Baba had previously said that Malaysia has a total of 25,456 beds for Covid-19 patients across hospitals and low-risk quarantine and treatment centres nationwide, as of Dec 25.

Based on this, Malaysia's current hospital beds occupancy rate to treat Covid-19 patients may already stand at approximately 80%.

Meanwhile, 111 patients were being treated in intensive care units (ICU), with 50 cases requiring respiratory assistance, according to a statement by Ministry of Health (MoH) director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

Today's new positive cases have raised the total confirmed infections in the country to date to 105,096 cases. 

The number of new recoveries came in less than new infections today at 997, lifting total recoveries to 84,411 or 80.3% of cumulative confirmed infections. 

One death was recorded today, raising the death toll from the coronavirus in the country to 452. Noor Hisham said the deceased was a 71-year-old man in Sabah, with no recorded comorbidities. 

Selangor, said Noor Hisham, contributed 392 new cases today, topping the list of states with the most daily numbers, followed by Kuala Lumpur with 202 cases and Johor with 194 cases. 

Noor Hisham noted that a total of 52 cases were reported from clusters of infections related to lock-ups and prisons, comprising the Pagar Siput cluster (15 cases), Tembok Gajah cluster (14 cases), Jalan Harapan Prison cluster (13 cases), Tembok cluster (8 cases), Hala Mutiara cluster (one case), and Sandakan Prison cluster (one case). 

Among the new infections, five were imported cases. 

One new cluster was detected today 

Noor Hisham also announced that the ministry had detected one new cluster of infections today, namely the Jalan Sedco cluster in Tawau and Kalabakan in Sabah. 

The index case for this cluster was first reported on Dec 20. Since then, a total of 26 individuals have been screened and 14 cases came back positive. 

To date, 484 clusters have been reported in the country, said Noor Hisham.

Of that, 271 clusters have ended as no new cases were reported in 28 days including three clusters that were declared over today, namely the Kerengge cluster, Alila cluster and Gemilang cluster. 

As it stands, 213 clusters remain active, with 45 clusters reporting new cases today, led by the Tampoi Jaya cluster (78 new cases), Jalan Stadium Construction Site cluster (63 new cases) and Beringin cluster (30 new cases).

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