KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia reported a record 126 COVID-19 fatalities on Wednesday (Jun 2), the highest since the start of the pandemic.

The country’s previous record was less than a week ago on May 29 with 98 deaths.  

Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said 123 of the victims were Malaysians while three others were foreigners. 

The fatalities were aged 29 to 98 and many of them had a medical history of diabetes and high blood pressure, according to data published on the health director-general’s official website. 

The national death toll now stands at 2,993. 

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According to the health ministry’s daily report, ten of the newly reported deaths were “brought in dead”. These are victims who did not die in hospital. 

There are currently 878 patients in the intensive care unit, another record. Of these, 441 require respiratory support.

Malaysia also recorded 7,703 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, taking the national total to 587,165. A total of 82,274 of these cases are currently active or infectious.

The Klang Valley area accounted for nearly half of the new cases, with 2,728 in Selangor and 701 in Kuala Lumpur. There were a further 588 cases in Sarawak, 554 in Johor and 407 in Penang.

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Twenty-two new clusters have also been identified. Four of them were sparked by festive season household visiting activities in Penang, Kedah, Perak and Kuala Lumpur. 

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Malaysia began its third nationwide lockdown on Tuesday amid a surging third wave of COVID-19. 

Health authorities have repeatedly warned that the medical system is overwhelmed and that intensive care unit beds as well as spaces in morgues are running short. 

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