KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia recorded an increasing trend in new COVID-19 cases for the 3rd Epidemiological Week (ME 3/2022) from Jan 16 to 22, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said the number of new cases rose by 7.9 per cent from 22,006 cases in ME 2/2022 (Jan 9 to 15) to 23,752 cases in ME 3/2022.

"The average number of active cases also increased by 2.4 per cent from 39,507 cases (ME 2/2022) to 40,473 cases.

"However, the number of death cases showed a consistent drop of 19 per cent, with 102 deaths in ME 3/2022 compared to 126 in ME 2/2022. This drop was recorded beginning ME 52/2021," he said in a statement today.

Dr Noor Hisham said cases requiring treatment in the intensive care unit (ICU) also recorded a decline of 30.3 per cent to 129 cases (ME 3/2022) from 182 cases in the previous epidemiological week.

As for cases requiring respiratory assistance, the figure dropped by 23.5 per cent to 52 cases from 68 cases (ME 2/2022) and has been on the declining trend for the past 22 weeks, while the average infectivity rate or R-naught (Rt) increased by two per cent from 0.99 (ME 2/2022) to 1.01 (ME 3/2022).

In the meantime, Dr Noor Hisham said 88 new clusters were reported in ME 3/2022, of which 62 involved educational institutions; workplaces (18); high-risk groups (four) and one each involving community, religious, import and detention centre clusters.

He said 3,214 new infections were recorded today with 35 cases (1.1 per cent) were in Categories Three, Four and Five while the remaining 3,179 cases (98.9 per cent) were in Categories One and Two.

"Of the total new cases, 406 were imported cases while 2,808 were local infections. A total of 112 cases are being treated in the ICU with 40 cases requiring respiratory assistance," he said.