Covid-19: Sepang now red zone as Selangor crosses 1,000 threshold, KL's Lembah Pantai has most cases for fifth day in row

Ida Lim
An Armed Forces personnel cordons off the vicinity of Selangor Mansion, on Jalan Masjid India, with barbed wire on April 7, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 — The Sepang district in Selangor is now a red zone or a Covid-19 hotspot with at least 41 cases, while the state itself which has been the worst hit in Malaysia by the virus outbreak has now recorded more than 1,000 cases, the latest data from the Health Ministry released today shows.

In the same set of data as of April 7, Sarawak has now gained a second red zone, as the Kota Samarahan district in the state recorded a total tally of more than 41 Covid-19 cases.

With the addition of the Sepang and Kota Samarahan districts, there are now 23 red zones or districts in the most severe category in Malaysia as of April 7 noon.

These two districts were initially categorised as orange zones or districts with 20 to 40 Covid-19 cases, which is just one category below the red zone.

About Sepang and Selangor

Sepang, which had a total tally of 39 Covid-19 cases on April 6, crossed over to be recategorised as a red zone when its tally increased to 46 cases on April 7.

Five out of nine districts in Selangor now are red zones, which also reflects the state's status as of April 7 as the state with the highest number of Covid-19 cases nationwide.

From a total tally of 970 cases on April 6, Selangor's total count of Covid-19 cases has now increased to 1,020 as of April 7 noon.

(It was not too long ago that Malaysia itself as a whole crossed the 1,000th mark, when the entire country's total tally of cases increased from 900 cases on March 19 to 1,030 cases on March 20.)

With Selangor's new total cumulative tally of 1,020 Covid-19 cases, this means that Selangor alone accounts for 25.7 per cent or a quarter of Malaysia's current tally of 3,963 cases.


Top red zone is in KL again

The federal territory of Kuala Lumpur is the next worst-affected area in Malaysia, with all its four districts already categorised as red zones on April 5 when Cheras became a red zone on that day.

In the latest data as of April 7, Kuala Lumpur as a whole has a total tally of 671 cases.

The Lembah Pantai district in Kuala Lumpur continued to be the district with the highest tally of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia for the fifth consecutive day, with 412 cases as of April 7.

The Lembah Pantai district's total cumulative tally had steadily increased over the past few days as the nationwide top spot at 322 cases (April 3), 367 cases (April 4), 376 cases (April 5), 386 cases (April 6).

Kuala Lumpur's distribution of Covid-19 cases is shown in the Health Ministry's maps to be spread out over a total of four districts, which share the same names as — but are not to be confused with — some of the 11 parliamentary constituencies in Kuala Lumpur.

A note about Johor

While Johor did not gain any new red zones or new orange zones, it is the third most affected after Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.

Johor, which is the only state to have three districts in the red zone category, has a total cumulative tally of 478 cases as of April 7.

In Johor, the Kluang district has the highest tally of cases at 174 as of April 7, followed by the Johor Baru district at 146 cases, and the Batu Pahat district at 48 cases.

Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor

When combined, the number of Covid-19 cases recorded so far in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Johor come up to a total of 2,169 cases. In other words, these two states and this federal territory alone account for slightly over half or 54.7 per cent of the 3,963 cases recorded in Malaysia as of April 7.

Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Johor are also currently the only states or federal territories in Malaysia where the government has imposed four enhanced movement control orders (EMCO) in selected villages and buildings where a high concentration of Covid-19 cases have been detected, where tighter restrictions are enforced such as no residents being allowed to leave and non-residents barred from entry.

The EMCOs allow the Health Ministry to go door-to-door to carry out active detection of Covid-19 cases, and has since resulted in new cases being found in these areas.

The government has chosen not to impose the EMCOs on entire red zones, but to only focus on smaller targeted areas with a small radius within red zones.


Sarawak's new red zone

Other than the Kuching district, Sarawak has added on a new red zone with the Kota Samarahan district's tally increasing from 36 cases on April 6 to 42 cases on April 7.

Like the two other states with two red zones, Sarawak has more than 200 cases with a total tally of 288 cases as of April 7, while Negri Sembilan stands at 261 and Perak stands at 233. Sabah is the exception as it is also the only other state to have more than 200 cases with a total tally of 241 cases, despite having only one red zone as of April 7.


How much do the 23 red zones contribute?

In the latest data as of April 7 noon, the number of cases in the 23 red zones nationwide comes up to a total of 2,872 cases.

In other words, the 23 red zones in Malaysia alone account for about 72.5 per cent of the 3,963 Covid-19 cases detected in the entire country.

No new orange zones, no green zones lost

With no addition of new orange zones and with two districts now recategorised as red zones after crossing the 41-case threshold, there are now a total of 17 orange zones in the country.

Malaysia originally had a total of 39 districts in seven states on March 25 that had zero Covid-19 cases or districts that are green zones, but the number of green zones has now gone down to 29 districts in six states as of April 6.

Thankfully, none of the green zones have recorded any Covid-19 cases as of April 7, which means the number of districts with zero Covid-19 cases recorded so far remains at 29 districts.

The Health Ministry is seeking to empower communities living in green zones to maintain their green zone status, including by limiting and recording the entry and exit of visitors and local residents, reporting to the community leader or police when group activities are detected, mobilising the existing residents’ committee as a coordinator for Covid-19 prevention activities in the community, and reporting any suspected Covid-19 cases to authorities.

Tomorrow, the government is expected to come out with new standard operating procedures for the control of the public’s movement that may depend on the severity of the Covid-19 situation, including whether an area falls within the categories of red zone or green zone for example.

The death toll in Malaysia from Covid-19 cases now stands at 63.


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