We are in recovery phase, says Dr Noor Hisham

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PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has discharged nearly 4,000 or 67% of all its Covid-19 patients since the coronavirus outbreak began in January.

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This comes as the country’s movement control order (MCO) completes its 41st day and reaches the end of the third phase.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said this was down to the success of the early phases of the MCO, which was implemented on March 18.

“We are now in a recovery phase. We have been able to flatten the curve and have prevented the exponential surge of cases, ” said Dr Noor Hisham at the ministry’s daily Covid-19 press conference.

He announced 40 more Covid-19 cases yesterday, bringing the total number of Covid-19 infections in the country to 5,820.

This makes it the 11th day in a row that the number of daily infections in Malaysia is double digits.

A total of 95 patients were discharged yesterday, which means 3,957 patients have recovered from Covid-19 in Malaysia so far.

At present, there are only 1,764 active cases being treated at the country’s health facilities.

Dr Noor Hisham also announced one new Covid-19 fatality in the country, taking Malaysia’s death toll to 99.

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The deceased is a 78-year-old man with a history of diabetes, hypertension and stroke.

The man had been receiving treatment at Hospital Enche Besar Hajjah Khalsom in Kluang, Johor, since April 7 and was pronounced dead at 4.30am yesterday.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry was hoping it could increase its testing capacity to 22,000 per day by next week.

He said that currently, the ministry could test up to 16,635 samples a day at 43 laboratories in the country belonging to both the public and private sector.

He said the Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI)’s automated testing device that would be used by the Institute for Medical Research and the Kota Kinabalu Public Health Laboratory in Sabah could add 6,000 daily tests to its capacity.

“Capacity-wise, that’s good. We were told that the city of Guangdong in China, which has a population of 110 million people, conducts 30,000 tests a day.

“We are on our way to conducting 22,000 tests in a day, ” he added.

Dr Noor Hisham said the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) benchmark was that out of all Covid-19 tests conducted, only 10% should be positive.

“Now we are about 4%, which is better than the WHO benchmark.

“This shows our targeted approach in Covid-19 testing, where we aim for high-risk localities, is showing results, ” he added. – The Star

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