KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 1): Malaysia's newly minted Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin (pictured) said Malaysia needs to learn to live with the coronavirus, as the country's daily Covid-19 cases remained high — although it declined to 18,762 today, down from 20,897 yesterday (Aug 31).

In a statement, Khairy said Malaysia needs to be prepared to accept the reality that coronavirus will become endemic, and that even with vaccination, efforts to undertake behavioural changes and to comply with the standard operating procedures have to continue. "This approach will enable various sectors of the economy to reopen and for our lives to return to function as it used to under new norms," he said.

The decline in the latest infections came in tandem with the lower number of Covid-19 tests conducted, at 120,040 — down 21.8% from yesterday’s 153,585 — indicating a positivity rate of 15.63% (versus yesterday's 13.61%).

Selangor remained the state with the highest number of daily infections at 3,711, followed by Sabah (2,430) and Sarawak (2,414). Other states that reported four-digit new cases are Johor (1,993), Penang (1,762), Kedah (1,585) and Kelantan (1,504).

Also reported were 278 new deaths — down from yesterday's 282. Total deaths related to Covid-19 in the country now stand at 16,942.

Active cases declined to 265,274, as 21,073 more people recovered from the illness, outpacing new infections. To date, 1.48 million people have recovered from the illness, out of the total 1.77 million infected.

Majority of cases remain those with little to no symptoms

Among new infections today, 13,346 or 71.1% were patients who either were not vaccinated or had received only one dose, according to MOH.

And the asymptomatic or those with mild symptoms continued to make up the bulk of new cases, with 18,432 or 98.2% being in Categories 1 (no symptoms) or 2 (mild symptoms).

Those with more severe symptoms totalled 330 or 1.8%, spread across Categories 3 (patients with pneumonia), 4 (with pneumonia requiring oxygen therapy) and 5 (critical cases needing assisted ventilation).

There are now 1,007 Covid-19 patients in intensive care, of which 464 require breathing assistance.

42 new clusters detected today

The ministry also announced that it has identified 42 new clusters today, including 22 workplace clusters. The remaining clusters were from communities, as welll as detention, religious and education centres.

There are now 1,494 active clusters in the country; a total 4,773 clusters were reported, of which 3,279 have been declared ended.

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