KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4 — The country added 19,057 cases to the Covid-19 tally as of noon today but for the second day straight the number of infections have dropped below the 20,000 mark, bolstering hope that the outbreak would stabilise soon.
The densely populated state of Selangor still contributes the largest share of cases, at 3775, but still had a visible drop from recent days.
Three states — Sabah, Johor, and Sarawak — all registered cases above the 2,000 mark in the last 24 hours, while Penang, Kelantan, Perak and Kedah recorded cases above 1,000 respectively, in a sign that states outside the central region could be hit by yet another wave of infections.
Sarawak, where more than 80 per cent of its population have been fully immunised, topped the three states that reported four-digit cases, at 2,723.
The high rate of infections and surging hospitalisation cases in the East Malaysian state has baffled analysts given the level of its people already vaccinated.
States with cases in the hundreds are Negeri Sembilan (242), Terengganu (605), and Melaka (338). The Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur also registered three-digit cases (711) but Labuan and Putrajaya both reported cases below 100.
Perlis reported just 99 cases.
The cumulative tally of positive cases is now a little over 1.8 million, Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said on Twitter today.
Malaysia continues to register a high fatality rate, with the Ministry of Health reporting 362 deaths related to Covid-19 in the last 24 hours even as more people have been vaccinated. The coronavirus has killed 17,883 people to date.
Active cases now stood at a quarter million. From the total, 978 were severe cases with 460 needing breathing support.
As of September 3, nearly half of the country’s 29 million population have been fully vaccinated as the government ramped up efforts to inoculate as many people as possible amid concerns over the spread of the more contagious Delta variant.
Among the adult population, nearly a third of them have received complete doses while 86 per cent had received at least one.
The increased vaccination rate may explain the drop in ICU bed occupancy. The national ICU utilisation rate dropped to 87 per cent as of 5pm yesterday and regular bed occupancy was 71 per cent.
Still, the ICUs at hospitals in states with cases in the four digits are still registering near maximum occupancy or are overcrowded. Sabah’s ICUs have a 108 per cent utilisation rate, similar to Perak. Kedah’s ICU occupancy rate is currently at 118 per cent.
Selangor, despite the dip in daily cases, is still seeing a near-maximum ICU utilisation rate of 97 per cent. ICUs in Johor, Penang and Kelantan are also almost swamped.
Negeri Sembilan, once a major outbreak centre, is the only state to see ICU occupancy drop in line with the surge in vaccination rate.
The southern state now has the second-lowest ICU use rate next to Labuan, at just over 30 per cent. The latter territory’s ICU utilisation rate is zero.
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