KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia on Thursday (Apr 9) reported 109 new COVID-19 cases, its lowest in about two weeks, bringing the total tally to 4,228.

Health Ministry director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah in a press conference said the number of daily recovered cases exceeded the number of new cases for two days in a row.

“There were 121 recoveries today, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 1,608 which is 38 per cent of the total number of positive cases,” he said.

READ: Malaysia’s COVID-19 cases cross the 4,000 mark, new sub-cluster detected in Negeri Sembilan

However, Dr Noor Hisham also announced that Malaysia recorded its youngest COVID-19 fatality on Thursday.

“The 23-year old is a thyroid patient who has had close contact with two other patients who tested positive for the virus. She is also the fifth generation of the Sarawak church gathering cluster.

“She had not attended the gathering, but unfortunately was infected and had come in for treatment only when she was at category four,” he said.

The director-general had earlier explained that category four refers to pneumonia cases that require oxygen support. 

A firefighter disinfects a closed shop during the movement control order due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia April 1, 2020. REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng/Files

He added that besides the 23-year old, one other patient succumbed to the disease on Apr 9, a 66-year old with an auto-immune disease as well as several other chronic diseases. He had attended the mass religious gathering in Sri Petaling which took place from Feb 27 to Mar 1.

Malaysia now has a total of 67 COVID-19 deaths.

The director-general then explained that as of noon on Thursday, 72 patients were in intensive care unit of whom 43 required ventilator.

There has been a constant three-figure increase in daily cases since mid-March, with Mar 26 recording 235 new infections, the highest, and 106 on Mar 24, the lowest.

READ: Southeast Asia’s renewable energy transition likely to take hit from COVID-19, say experts

MEETING TO DECIDE ON EXTENSION OF MCO

Separately, Dr Noor Hisham said he would be meeting with several quarters including the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research at 6pm on Thursday to decide on the extension of the movement control order (MCO).

“We will look into our modelling. We will sit together and look at the trajectory of the COVID-19 infection in the next week or so. By looking at it, we can predict whether we would have an exponential increase,” he said.

READ: Southeast Asia’s renewable energy transition likely to take hit from COVID-19, say experts

He then stressed that Malaysia has a small window of opportunity and called for Malaysians to comply with the MCO for the remaining days.

The second phase of the MCO which began on Apr 1 is scheduled to end on Apr 14.

Earlier on Thursday, Senior Minister and Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a live address that even if the MCO is lifted, Malaysians will still be subject to strict standard operating procedures moving ahead.

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