By Chew Lip Song
THE country’s Covid-19 death toll is at 19 now, with 172 new confirmed cases reported today.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the 18th death was a male aged 56, with a history of chronic disease. He was treated at the Sultan Ismail Hospital, Johor, on March 20, and was pronounced dead on March 23, at 2am, the NST reported.
Dr Noor Hisham said the 19th fatality was a 68-year-old woman who was treated at the Sultanah Nora Ismail Hospital in Johor on March 19. She was put in the intensive care unit but her condition deteriorated and was pronounced dead at 12.53 am this morning.
Dr Noor Hisham said Malaysia now has 1,796 Covid-19 positive cases.
“A total of 71 cases from 172 were related to the tabligh gathering cluster. The cause of the remaining 101 cases are still being investigated,” he told at a press conference.
He added that 45 cases were being treated in the intensive care unit, with 34 of them needing ventilator support.
Another 16 cases have recovered, bringing the cumulative number of recovered and discharged cases to 199, said Dr Noor Hisham.
He also added that 73 Health Ministry personnel have tested positive for Covid-19 but it was not due to the handling of positive cases at the ministry’s facilities.
“It was found that 47 cases of 64.4 per cent had to do with a wedding reception which was also attended by people who attended the tabligh gathering.
“Other causes also include a history of travelling overseas, and having contact with family members who tested positive for Covid-19,” he added.
Dr Noor Hisham said a total of 1,895 health officers handling Covid-19 cases at the ministry’s facilities had undergone testing for the virus. He said 1,187 of them tested negative and 708 of them were still awaiting results.
“None of them had tested positive,” he stressed.