Seventy pregnant women have died from COVID-19 so far this year, it has been revealed.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that 17 of the fatalities happened since June, and 15 of the 17 cases involved unvaccinated women, while two other cases had received one dose of the vaccine.

"About 47 per cent of those deaths have some form of comorbidity," Noor Hisham said in a statement today.

According to him, a total 3,369 pregnant women in the country have been infected by COVID-19 since the pandemic broke in March last year, until June this year. There were no fatalities from COVID-19 among pregnant women recorded the last year.

Noor Hisham noted that the marked increase in the number of pregnant women catching the coronavirus began in May, when 855 were infected, followed by another 899 cases in June.

The number of pregnant women landing in the intensive care unit due to the virus has also increased from three per cent on July 10 to 5.3 per cent on August 7, he added.

Health Ministry data shows that a total of 146,759 pregnant women have registered on the MySejahtera application to get their COVID-19 vaccine so far - 20 per cent of which have received two doses, and 57 per cent, have received at least one dose.

One such recent casualty was local singer Siti Sarah, who died on Monday from complications arising from the virus, three days after giving birth.

The 36-year-old was not vaccinated. By the time she was taken to the hospital, the infection had spread to the lungs, and most of her organs had failed, her husband, comedian Shuib Sepahtu had said.

She was eight months pregnant with her fourth child, who was delivered via a caesarean section two days after her hospitalisation and induced coma.

Malaysia has been recording a high number of COVID-19 cases daily, with 20,780 cases reported yesterday, to bring the total number of infections to 1.32 million.

As for deaths, 211 new cases were recorded yesterday, bringing the total number of fatalities in the country to 11,373.

Photo source: Astro Awani