PUTRAJAYA, May 31 — A total of 57 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the country today, taking the case tally to 7,819. 

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said of the 57 cases, 10 were imported ones who got infected abroad. 

“Of the 47 local transmissions, 43 involve foreigners while only four are Malaysians,” he said at the daily COVID-19 media briefing here today. 

No deaths were recorded overnight with the death toll remaining at 115 fatalities. 

The number of infectivity cases stands at 1,351 and the patients have been isolated and given treatment, he said. 

Dr Noor Hisham also said that 23 patients had recovered and were discharged today, while nine were still being treated in the intensive care unit (ICU), with two of them needing ventilator support. 

Meanwhile, he also stressed the dangers of smoking, and warned smokers that they stand a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. 

“Smoking has been proven to be the cause of many illnesses as well as weaken the immunity system, which makes smokers more susceptible to bacterial and virus infections, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

“The World Health Organisation (WHO), in its statement on May 27, which is supported by several research findings, said smokers have a higher risk of suffering from complications if they were to contract COVID-19.

“This is because it is an infectious disease that mainly attacks the lungs and smoking damages the lung’s functions,” he said. 

In conjunction with World No Tobacco Day marked on May 31 every year, Dr Noor Hisham said this year’s theme in Malaysia is “Youths Must Be Protected”. 

As such, he said besides the younger generation, the Health Ministry (MOH) is urging all levels of society to stay away from the smoking habit and lead a healthier lifestyle. 

According to Dr Noor Hisham, tobacco use kills 8 million people globally every year, and from those, 1.2 million fatalities were caused by secondhand smoke. 


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