Covid-19: 106 new cases recorded nation-wide today

The Covid-19 situation in Malaysia as of 5pm on March 24, 2020.

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KUCHING, March 24: Malaysia registered 106 new confirmed Covid-19 cases today, bringing the national total to 1,624.

Ministry of Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah disclosed that from the number of new cases, 43 were linked to the cluster at the tabligh assemby at Sri Petaling mosque while 63 cases were linked to other clusters and are still under investigation.

“A total of 64 cases are being treated in the Intensive Care Unit, with 27 requiring ventilators to aid with breathing,” he told a press conference in Putrajaya today.

Earlier today, Malaysia also registered its 15th Covid-19 death after a 71-year-old man from Melaka died early this morning.

Dr Noor Hisham said that the man — who was case 1,519 — was suspected to have been in close contact with a patient known as Case 703.

The patient has a history of chronic illnesses and was treated at the Sultanah Fatimah Specialist Hospital, Muar from March 18. His death was confirmed at 5.35am today.

The director-general also disclosed that 24 Covid-19 patients had fully recovered and been discharged, bringing the number of people cured in Malaysia to 183.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham also urged people not to undergo tests using Rapid Test Kit (RTK) without getting advice from medical practitioners as it would potentially lead to wrong diagnosis and anxiety over the results.

“Currently, tests carried out in all health facility laboratories to detect Covid-19 is done using real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR).

“The rRT-PCR test will detect the presence of the Covid-19 virus in the body of the patient. As such, a test returned with a positive result means the individual is infected with Covid-19 virus,” he explained.

As for RTK which is currently available in the market, he said it was to detect the antibody generated in the body due to an infection.

“The antibody will be present in the body for five to eight days after an infection. The RTK test which detects antibody cannot detect the virus and give confirmation of an infection.

“This will not help in early detection of Covid-19. As such, the RTK test which detects antibody is not recommended for the purpose of diagnosing Covid-19,” he added. — DayakDaily