PM warns situation may worsen as 172 new Covid-19 cases recorded

Modified 25 Mar 2020, 6:58 am

CORONAVIRUS | The number of Covid-19 cases in the country climbed to 1,796 cases as of noon today.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, in a live address, revealed that 172 new cases were recorded today and warned that the worst is yet to come.

He also said two additional deaths were reported, bringing the death toll to 17.

"I would like to state, from the onset, that the situation may become tougher.

"Covid-19 is a disease that we have never faced before. We never thought that our way of life could change in the blink of an eye due to a disease that has spread not only in our country but also the world.

"The rate of infection is rapid. Today, 422,829 people have been infected across the globe with 18,907 deaths," he said.

He pointed out that just a week ago, Malaysia's confirmed Covid-19 cases was at 673.

"I have been briefed by the National Security Council (NSC) that the number of Covid-19 cases will increase further if we do not take action.

"It may increase by many folds like in a number of other countries. In a way, the Movement Control Order (MCO) has somewhat helped control the spread of this disease," he said.

During his address where he announced an additional 14-day extension of the movement control order (MCO), Muhyiddin also detailed the measures undertaken to prepare for any worsening of the outbreak.

"The government expects the number of new cases to continue to rise in the near future. Therefore, the Health Ministry has made preparations.

"This includes 3,585 beds at 34 hospitals across the country dedicated to accepting Covid-19 patients.

"At the same time, 34 percent of the bed capacity has been occupied and the remaining 66 percent can still accommodate new patients.

"If the number of Covid-19 cases increases beyond the existing hospital capacity, a few places have been identified as temporary isolation and quarantine centres," he said.

Muhyiddin stressed that the government won't be complacent in fighting Covid-19.

"We cannot be satisfied with the current measures until we record zero new cases," he said.

Keep up with the latest information on the outbreak in the country with Malaysiakini's free Covid-19 tracker. Malaysiakini is providing free access to the most important updates on the coronavirus pandemic. You can find them here.