BOMBSHELL – MUHYIDDIN ADMITS ‘LOCKDOWN’ MAY BE EXTENDED – AS COVID-19 CASES SPIKE TO A FRIGHTENING RECORD HIGH OF 212 NEW CASES FOR TODAY

PUTRAJAYA: The National Security Council will meet before the movement control order (MCO) ends to decide if the two weeks enforcement period is sufficient, or need to be extended, says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The Prime Minister said the authorities need to gauge the situation throughout the MCO period, before a decision was made.

“If there are improvements as a result of the action undertaken by the Health Ministry, as well as cooperation from all, including participants of the tabligh gathering who have yet to be tested, then this show that the MCO is working.

“We will have to monitor the development first before deciding,” he said after chairing the Economic Action Council meeting on Monday (March 23).

Muhyiddin said reports from the police and armed forces on the ground showed improvements in the compliance of the MCO, with close to 90% of the people complying.

“We are hoping for 100% compliance, but if there are lesser movement where people only leave their homes to buy essential items, the better,” he said.

Starting Sunday (March 22), the armed forces and police have joined hands to ensure the MCO was strictly adhered to. – ANN

Record 212 new Covid-19 cases today, total 1,518 and 14 deaths

Malaysia has recorded 212 new Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours – the highest daily increase since the start of the outbreak in late January.

This brings the total number of infections to 1,518 cases.

Previously, the highest increase was on March 15, with 190 new cases in a day.

Health Ministry Director-General Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said of the 212 new cases, 123 were traced to the tabligh gathering in Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur which took place late last month and has become the epicentre of the outbreak in Malaysia.

The reported deaths are as follow:

Patient 1,070 (11th death)

A 70-year-old Malaysian man who had a history of overseas travel. He was treated at the intensive care unit (ICU) of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (also known as Canselor Tuanku Muhriz Hospital). He passed away on March 22.

Patient 1,114 (12th death)

A 70-year-old Malaysian man who attended the tabligh gathering in Sri Petaling. He was treated at Kluang Hospital. He passed away on March 23.

Patient 1,006 (13th death)

A 49-year-old Malaysian man who is the son of patient 1,031. He was treated at Sarawak General Hospital. He passed away on March 23.

Patient 595 (14th death)

A 51-year-old Malaysian woman who is a close contact of the tabligh cluster. She was treated at Miri Hospital. She passed away on March 23.

“The Health Ministry conveys its condolences to their families,” Noor Hisham said.

Noor Hisham also reported that the number of people in ICU has increased from 46 to 57.

Furthermore, he said patients in ICU who need ventilators to breath increased from 22 to 27.

In a related development, Noor Hisham said 20 patients have recovered, bringing the total recoveries from Covid-19 to 159 cases.

He also acknowledged the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) among healthcare workers and three million new sets are already being distributed with 33 million more coming later this week.

Noor Hisham reiterated the importance for people to comply with the movement control order (MCO) and practise good hygiene in combating Covid-19.

Under the MCO which took effect on March 18, all essential businesses have been ordered to close while Malaysians are discouraged from travelling or going outdoors except for pressing reasons.

The partial lockdown will last until March 31 and could be extended. – MKINI

ANN / MKINI

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