KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 11 — The Ministry of Health (MoH) has noted a rise in Covid-19 infections among pregnant women in Malaysia.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, in a statement today, said this is in line with the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia as a whole.
He added that the rise first became apparent in October last year, with an average of 200 pregnant mothers catching the virus in the ensuing months.
There was a noticeable increase in May, with 850 expectant mothers infected, followed by another 899 cases in June.
“The percentage of pregnant women infected with Covid-19 in intensive care has increased from 3 per cent on July 10, to 5.3 per cent on August 7.
“Detailed analysis shows the ratio of Covid-19-infected pregnant women receiving intensive care, compared to the total number of critical Covid-19-infected patients, is 1 in 20.
“This ratio is much higher than the ratio of Covid-19-infected pregnant women in the general population, which is 1 in 220,” said Dr Noor Hisham.
He added that as of August 9, 70 pregnant mothers have died due to Covid-19 complications this year.
In 2020, no deaths among pregnant mothers were linked to Covid-19.
Dr Noor Hisham said the first rise in such deaths was detected when 17 expectant mothers died in June this year.
He said two of the deaths involved those who had received only one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, while the other 15 were unvaccinated.
He added that current data shows 47 per cent of the deaths reported involved those with two or more pre-existing illnesses or diseases.
According to MoH, as of August 8, a total of 146,759 pregnant mothers have registered on the MySejahtera application for the Covid-19 vaccine.
Of that number, a total of 83,251 (57 per cent) pregnant women have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 20 per cent of pregnant women have completed both doses.
Based on the estimated number of pregnant women a year, the percentage of pregnant women who registered to get vaccinated on the MySejahtera application is still low, at 40 per cent.