Updated: Health DG gives grim news on return to daily Covid-19 briefing

PUTRAJAYA, May 8 – Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah returned today to his daily live press conference on Covid-19 after a long lapse, and painted a bleak picture amid rising case numbers and concerns over virus variants and mutations.

Reporting a total of 4,519 new cases and 25 deaths in the country over the last 24 hours, he said the nation’s doctors are already reporting difficulties treating patients and the possibility of higher fatalities.

The director-general said the daily case numbers could go well past 5,000 if compliance with SOPs is not observed amid the increased rate of sporadic infections reported from communities.

He said the ministry will continue to monitor the situation closely as well as recommend stringent measures to keep the numbers in control.

He said while compliance with and enforcement of SOPS would be the main factors in fighting the virus, the people should also guard against complacency when the figures come down.

He stressed that large gatherings should be stopped, and super-spreader events like funerals, bazaars and weddings must be avoided, at least for now, adding that the next two weeks would be critical for bringing down the number of cases.

He said hospitals were already facing a shortage of beds and ventilators and everyone should come together to help bring the cases down.

With today’s figures, the total number of cases have gone up to 436,944 and deaths to 1,657, while 2,719 recoveries were also reported, bringing total recoveries to 398,723.

Of the new cases, five were reported to be imported.