By S. Harrish
MORE than 11 months after the first Covid-19 case was reported in the country, the death toll from the pandemic has now passed 500.
This comes after the health ministry reported seven more deaths over the past 24 hours, pushing the death toll to 501.
All were Malaysians aged between 45 and 83, with most of them suffering from medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Only one of them did not have any history of medical problems.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said there were 1,741 new Covid-19 cases today, bringing the total number of cases to 120,818.
There are 22,089 active cases with 122 patients being treated in ICU and 53 requiring respirators.
He said there were 1,010 recoveries today, bringing the total number of discharges to 98,228.
Selangor continued to record the highest number of cases with 673, followed by Sabah (303) and Johor (295).
There are five new Covid-19 clusters in the country – the Jalan Duyong and Pasar Jalan Sentosa clusters in Selangor; Jalan Nakhoda cluster in Kuala Lumpur; Ehsan Ibol cluster in Perak; and the Telok Mas cluster in Malacca.
Meanwhile in Sarawak, eight new Covid-19 cases were detected with four linked to the Stutong Cluster in Kuching.
The State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) said three more were imported cases while the other was a local transmission.
This brings Sarawak’s cumulative cases to 1,148 while the death toll remains at 19.
SDMC said the four Stutong cluster cases were close contacts of other cases from the cluster.
All of them underwent rT-PCR test on Jan 2 and were found positive on Jan 3.
There are now nine cases in the Stutong Cluster with a total of 98 individuals being screened so far.
The other local transmission involves a local male who took a swab test at a private hospital in Kuching on Jan 3.
The imported cases involves a woman returning from Kuala Lumpur, a man returning from Selangor and a child who had returned with family from Congo.