KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia reported another 156 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday (Apr 8) as total cases crossed the 4,000 mark.

The country’s cases had earlier pushed past 3,000 last Thursday. With a total of 4,119 infections, Malaysia is still the worst-hit country in Southeast Asia. 

Health Ministry director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah announced at a press conference on Wednesday that the country had two more deaths, taking the death toll to 65. 

In addition, 166 more patients had recovered and were discharged. 

One of the two people who died was a Malaysian woman, 58, who died at Tuanku Ja’afar Hospital in Seremban. The other was a 69-year-old Pakistani man, who was at Hospital Kuala Lumpur. 

Both patients had suffered from other ailments, such as diabetes and hypertension in the case of the former, according to Dr Noor Hisham. 

The Pakistani man also had a history of attending the mass religious gathering at Sri Petaling, which is linked to 1,682 cases in the country.

READ: How mass pilgrimage at Malaysian mosque became COVID-19 hotspot

The director-general added that 154 foreign nationals had been infected so far. 

A new COVID-19 sub-cluster was also discovered in Rembau, in the state of Negeri Sembilan, linked to the Sri Petaling event. 

One of the participants of this Muslim gathering had later attended a school meeting in Rembau. Twenty-seven people have now tested positive for the novel coronavirus, with two undergoing intensive care. 

“Investigations showed that there were visits to the homes of relatives who were unwell, even though the country is now under a movement control order (MCO),” said Dr Noor Hisham.

ENCOURAGING RESULTS FROM ENHANCED MCO

Under the MCO, people are told to stay at home while non-essential services are not allowed to operate. 

Several locations with a large number of cases were later placed under an enhanced MCO, which prohibit residents from leaving their homes for two weeks.

Dr Noor Hisham said the outcome of the measure has been encouraging, in terms of detecting new cases and curbing the spread of the virus.  

“Today, we have seen a detection of another four cases, bringing the total to 174,” the director-general said, providing a breakdown of cases in Kluang, one of the areas under enhanced MCO.

Hulu Langat, meanwhile, registered another eight new cases on Wednesday, he added. 

READ: Several Malaysian states call off Ramadan bazaars amid COVID-19 fears

On the possibility of extending the nationwide MCO, which is set to end on Apr 14, Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry was monitoring the growth of new cases and their distribution around the country, and that there was no exponential growth in terms of new cases. 

“Although we have not won the war yet, neither have we lost the war,” said Dr Noor Hisham, adding that the ministry needed to model projected numbers and data, and put up proposals to the Cabinet and Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin for them make a decision. 

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