Covid-19: Malaysia reports 659 new cases, 80.3% from Sabah; daily recoveries hit record 1,000

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 31): Malaysia reported 659 new Covid-19 infections today, 80.3% or 529 of which came from the worst-hit state of Sabah, while the Klang Valley contributed 10.6% or 70 cases. This raised the country’s cumulative positive cases to 31,548, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH).

The number of daily recoveries hit 1,000 cases — its highest so far in a day — as recoveries exceeded new infections for the second time in the past four days; on Oct 29, recoveries came in at 685, versus 649 new infections then.

This means a total of 21,248 patients have recovered so far, yielding a recovery rate of 67.4% of total confirmed cases.

As for active cases, which carry transmission risks, the tally is now down to 10,051 from 10,392 yesterday.

The death toll, meanwhile, remained at 249 or 0.8% of total infections, with no new additions.

No new infection clusters were reported today, according to the MoH. This means the number of active clusters remained at 33, while 114 clusters have ended.

In Sabah, 205 cases originated from existing clusters, 203 cases were discovered via contact tracing, while 121 cases were discovered from other Covid-19 screening tests.

Selangor saw 55 new cases, 18 of which came from existing clusters, 22 from contact tracing, and 15 from other Covid-19 tests.

Labuan and Kuala Lumpur saw 12 and 11 cases respectively, followed by Sarawak (nine cases), Perak (six cases), Putrajaya (four cases), Kedah (two cases), Penang (two cases), Terengganu (two cases), Pahang (one case), Kelantan (one case).

Meanwhile, 137 cases or 20.8% of total cases today were related to the prison clusters and temporary detention centres, namely the Kepayan cluster (26 cases) and the Rumah Merah cluster (111 cases).

Of the 659 cases today, one was an imported infection involving a foreigner who had travelled from Bangladesh.

Declining R0

During the question and answer session, MoH director-general Noor Hisham said the R0 of Covid-19 in Malaysia, which measures the contagiousness of the virus, has been brought down to 1.5 last week, as compared to 2.2 during the start of the third wave. A higher R0 translates to a higher rate of infection in the community.

For comparison, the second wave had an R0 rate of 3.55.

“Based on the projection for R0 of 1.5, the daily new cases should be 1,357 cases. If the R0 is 1.0, it should be 950 cases per day. However, we have been seeing daily cases of below 950 — at 799 yesterday and 659 today. So our R0 is currently below 1.0.

“This means that the measures that have been enforced under CMCO for the past two weeks, that is, by allowing the economic sectors to operate while toning down social, education and sports activities, has resulted in a lower rate of infection,” he added.

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