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21 new Covid-19 cases, fourth Sabah cluster emerges
Published:  Sep 17, 2020 10:05 AM
Updated: 11:09 AM

COVID-19 | Malaysia has reported 21 new cases of Covid- 19 in the 24 hours up to noon today, including yet another cluster in Sabah.

The Selamat cluster in Semporna is the fourth cluster reported in the country this month, after the Benteng LD cluster, Pulau cluster and Laut cluster.

Of the 21 cases reported today, Health Ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said five were imported, while the remaining 16 were locally acquired infections. Five of the local cases were found in Sabah.

Two of the new cases were part of the Benteng LD cluster, and one was reported for the Selamat cluster today.

One case was detected during admission at Tawau Hospital, and another was found during sign-off screening for a ship docked at Sipitang.

Noor Hisham said the Selamat cluster was detected when the index case (Case 9,969, a 32-year-old Malaysian woman) was tested for Covid-19 while being admitted to Tawau Hospital for premature birth.

She tested positive on Sept 14, and contact tracing has led to another case being detected today.

“The case involves a health officer who treated the index case,” he said, adding that 116 people have subsequently been tested and are still awaiting results.

For the two new Benteng LD cluster cases, one involved a police officer in Lahad Datu and the other involved a foreigner detained in Tawau.

Thus far, 7,670 people have been tested as part of efforts to curb the spread of the largest active Covid-19 cluster, of whom 474 tested positive, 4,358 tested negative, and 2,838 are still pending results.

Meanwhile, in Kedah, seven new cases have been reported, of which six are from the Sungai cluster that involved healthcare workers at a private hospital.

All six are third-generation cases for the cluster, whose infections have been traced to two different healthcare workers at the hospital (Case 9946 and Case 9798) that came into contact with the index case (Case 9455).

There are 22,317 people tested in this cluster so far, including 1,148 healthcare workers. Of the total, 2,508 tests are still pending.

In addition, one case has been detected in Kota Setar that is under a targeted administrative enhanced movement control order.

In Penang, two cases have been detected through contact tracing for Case 9397, both of whom are family members who live with the patient.

Case 9397 has tested positive on Sept 5 while seeking treatment for acute gastroenteritis at Lam Wah Ee Hospital. The 89-year-old man also showed symptoms of severe acute respiratory infection.

Previously, one other case has been linked to Case 9397 on Sept 7, and another on Sept 16. However, the Health Ministry has yet to classify this as a new cluster.

Meanwhile, in Selangor, one patient with symptoms of the disease had tested positive at the Sungai Buloh Hospital.

In Sarawak, one case was detected through screening at an international entryway.

No details were given, but the development comes as the Public Works Department confirmed one of its staff with travel history to Kuching was tested for Covid-19 while leaving the city yesterday and was taken to Sungai Buloh Hospital upon arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Of the five imported cases, two originated from New Zealand, one from India, one from Pakistan, and one from China. All cases involved Malaysians returning from abroad.

Meanwhile, 15 people have recovered from the disease today and have been discharged.

The total number of confirmed cases in Malaysia now stands at 10,052, of which 674 cases are still active and being treated.

Of these, 13 cases are being treated in intensive care units, compared to 15 cases yesterday. Two of the ICU patients also require mechanical ventilation, compared to three yesterday.

The death toll remains unchanged for today at 128 cases. The last death was reported in Penang on Sept 1 involving a patient from the Tawar cluster.


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