KUALA LUMPUR: Covid-19 cases continue to spike with 17,134 cases reported yesterday, bringing the cumulative cases to 2,956,332.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said over the same period, Malaysia had recorded 5,681 recoveries, bringing the cumulative recoveries to 2,829,752.

“Of the 17,134 new cases, 86 were in Categories Three, Four and Five (the most severe), while the remaining cases were Categories One and Two,” he added.

“Of the new positive cases, 130 were imported cases involving 73 Malaysians and 57 foreigners,” he said in his daily statement yesterday.

He said 143 cases were being treated in the intensive care unit with 73 requiring ventilator support.“Fifteen new clusters were detected on Wednesday, which brings the number of active clusters to 385.

The national R-nought rate (which denotes infectivity) is now at 1.39.

“All states recorded a value of over 1.0 with Sarawak topping the charts at 1.68, followed by Perlis (1.65), and Sabah (1.59).

“At the bottom of the chart, Melaka recorded 1.20, followed by Kuala Lumpur (1.18) and Negri Sembilan (1.14),” he said.

Sabah holds an all-time high record of new daily cases registered since the start of the vaccination programme for the public, with 3,333 cases yesterday.

Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, the minister in charge of Covid-19 matters in Sabah, said prior to that, the highest daily cases recorded stood at 3,487 on Aug 26, 2021.

He said over half or 1,075 of yesterday’s cases were sporadic infections, with 3,318 (99.55%) of the new cases falling under the asymptomatic or light infection category.

He advised the public to avoid crowded places as Kota Kinabalu recorded 591 new cases, followed by Sandakan (510), Penampang (324), Tuaran (266), Papar (224), Ranau (196), and Tawau (191).

Three new clusters – Kluster Simpangan Paitan, Beluran (with 23 cases), Kluster Access Menawo, Keningau (12) and Kluster Bukit Garam, Kinabatangan (47) – were recorded as well, he said.

Masidi said 22 of the 30 active clusters in Sabah were education-related.

The index case for Kluster Access Menawo Keningau is a 21-year-old hostel student of Institut Pelajaran dan Dakwah Islam Sabah, who fell ill on Feb 6.

Masidi said Kluster Simpangan Paitan started when a female hostel student from SMK Simpangan showed signs of having contracted the virus on Feb 4 and was confirmed positive on Feb 6, while her hostel mates and other close contacts tested positive thereafter.

An 18-year-old female student in SMK Bukit Garam sparked the Bukit Garam cluster after she fell ill on Jan 28 and tested positive on Feb 6, while 46 of her hostel mates and school staff also tested positive.

“All patients in these three clusters fell under Categories One and Two, and have been isolated and given treatment,” said Masidi.