Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said with the 3,170 new cases, Covid-19 cases in the country now stood at 172,549 cumulatively.
“Kuala Lumpur reported the highest increase with 576 infections.
“Out of this total, 310 or 56.9% were from identified clusters as well as cases detected from active screening of close contacts, ” he said.
Selangor, which has been the state with the most cases recently, reported 545 new infections yesterday, or 17.2% of the country’s total.
In the same 24-hour span, 12 people died due to Covid-19. They were all Malaysians aged between 47 and 84.
Two of them – an 82-year-old man and an 81-year-old woman – were declared “dead on arrival” at Hospital Lahad Datu in Sabah.
Malaysia’s Covid-19 death toll is now at 642.
Dr Noor Hisham said a total of 3,170 patients were discharged, bringing the number of recoveries in the country to 130,152.
“Nationwide, there are 41,755 active cases that are being treated at hospitals and quarantine centres.
“Of that total, 260 patients are in intensive care, with 103 on ventilator support, ” he said in his daily briefing here yesterday.
Dr Noor Hisham added that the Health Ministry had identified 16 new Covid-19 clusters nationwide, of which 11 are linked to workplaces.
At present, the country has 327 active clusters.
On another matter, Dr Noor Hisham has suggested that a maximum of 20 people be allowed at funerals to prevent clusters such as the Pasai cluster in Sarawak and last year’s Tawar cluster in Kedah from recurring.
“We realise that gatherings such as funerals or weddings have the potential to spread Covid-19 if someone who is positive is in attendance. This is what we have seen with the two big clusters of Pasai and Tawar.
“We understand that funerals are a sensitive issue, due to cultural and emotional reasons.
“What is more important is we should limit funeral gatherings to 20 people. Such gatherings also need approval from the police, ” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham added that it was very important for attendees of such gatherings to comply with Covid-19 guidelines at all times.
The Pasai cluster is currently Sarawak’s biggest cluster with 981 confirmed infections and one death.
The cluster originated from a 32-year-old woman who travelled from Johor on Dec 29 to attend her father’s funeral in Sibu.