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Malaysia reports 20,988 new COVID-19 cases; ICUs at 90% capacity

Malaysia reports 20,988 new COVID-19 cases; ICUs at 90% capacity

Women wearing Malaysian national flag costumes walk in front of the National Monument during the 64th National Day celebrations on Aug 31, 2021. (Photo: AP/Vincent Thian)

SINGAPORE: New COVID-19 cases in Malaysia crossed the 20,000 mark again on Thursday (Sep 2) with 20,988 new infections.

The state of Selangor contributed most to the daily caseload with 4,073 infections, while Sarawak and Kedah reported 2,992 and 2,455 cases respectively.

Other states that reported more than 2,000 cases were Sabah with 2,329 and Johor with 2,145. Only one of the new infections was imported.

The number of new daily COVID-19 cases in Malaysia has stayed in the five-figure range since Jul 13, with intensive care units (ICU) across the country struggling to cope with the influx of patients.

Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said that as of Sep 1, the overall national occupancy rate for intensive care units (ICU) was at 90 per cent.

Three states hit overflowing ICU capacity: Sabah at 126 per cent, Kedah at 121 per cent and Perak at 107 per cent.

Selangor is at 99 per cent capacity while Johor has reached 95 per cent capacity, Dr Noor Hisham said in a Tweet on Thursday.

The number of patients in intensive care is 1,001, Dr Noor Hisham said on Twitter.

Malaysia has 262,540 active COVID-19 cases. Its total caseload to date is 1.78 million.

A total of 249 new deaths were reported, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 17,191.

Dr Noor Hisham also reported that 65.1 per cent of the adult population in Malaysia have completed their full vaccination regimen.

Malaysia may implement a national testing policy that requires people to test themselves for COVID-19 after the disease reaches an endemic phase in the country, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said on Wednesday.

Mr Khairy also said that he wanted "to make testing more affordable and more accessible", adding that the Cabinet has agreed to set a ceiling price for rapid test kits.

He said that Malaysia would likely enter the endemic phase by the end of October, when 80 per cent of the country’s population have been vaccinated. 

“By the end of October we will reach that endemic cut-off point where we have to start looking at living with the virus,” he said.

In his national day address on Monday, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob urged all Malaysians to get vaccinated immediately in order to pave the way for economic recovery and to allow all to "live in the new normal".

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Source: CNA/nh(zl)