Khairy should do what Indonesia has done to reduce the daily new Covid-19 cases from the peak of 56,757 cases on 15th July to low four-digit of 5,436 cases yesterday

I will be more modest in my expectations and not as ambitious as the new Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri, who said in his maiden National Day address last night that he hoped that the celebrations this year will be the last under the cloud of Covid-19 pandemic.

I do not expect Covid-19 pandemic to disappear next National Day in 12 months’ time but I do expect Malaysia to turn the tide of defeat in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic and end probably the longest year-long Covid-19 wave in the world which started last September during the Sabah state general election and to gain control of the Covid-19 pandemic situation.

This is not an impossible task and I expect the new Health Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin to do what Indonesia had achieved to reduce the daily new Covid-19 cases from the peak of 56,757 cases on 15th July to low four-digit figure of 5,426 cases yesterday.

On 15th July, Malaysia had 13,215 daily new Covid-19 cases and yesterday, it had risen to 19,268 cases – an unfavourable comparison between Malaysia and Indonesia.

I googled the question “When will Covid-19 pandemic end” and I found an article which said:

“This article updates our perspectives on when the coronavirus pandemic will end to reflect the latest information on vaccine rollout, variants of concern, and disease progression.

“Among high-income countries, cases caused by the Delta variant reversed the transition toward normalcy first in the United Kingdom, during June and July of 2021, and subsequently in the United States and elsewhere.

“Our own analysis supports the view of others that the Delta variant has effectively moved overall herd immunity out of reach in most countries for the time being.

“The United Kingdom’s experience nevertheless suggests that once a country has weathered a wave of Delta-driven cases, it may be able to resume the transition toward normalcy.

“Beyond that, a more realistic epidemiological endpoint might arrive not when herd immunity is achieved but when COVID-19 can be managed as an endemic disease. The biggest overall risk would likely then be the emergence of a significant new variant.”

My hope for the 65th National Day in 12 months’ time is that we turned the tide of defeat in the 20-month war against the Covid-19 pandemic and getting back to normalcy so that we can embark on plans for economic and national recovery.

On the 63rd National Day 12 months ago, we had a cumulative total of 9,340 Covid-19 cases and 127 Covid-19 deaths.

On our 64th National Day today, we will have close to 1.75 million Covid-19 cases and 16,500 Covid-19 deaths – a phenomenal increase of 187 times for Covid-19 cases and another phenomenal increase of 130 times for Covid-19 deaths.

This is why in my 64th National Day message yesterday, I said:

“On the occasion of the 64th National Day, I call on all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or politics to unite to win the invisible war against the Covid-19 pandemic, as we cannot afford another 12 months of the phenomenal upsurge of Covid-19 cases and Covid-19 deaths.

“At the pace of 187 times’ increase of Covid-19 cases and 130 times’ increase of Covid-19 deaths in the last 12 months, by the 65th National Day of August 31, 2022, we will have 327 million Covid-19 cases and 2.2 million Covid-19 deaths.

“We would have overshadowed the United States, the present world’s top country world with about 40 million Covid-19 cases and 655,000 Covid-19 deaths.

“But 327 million Covid-19 cases in Malaysia is an impossibility as it is 10 times Malaysia’s present population of 32 million – but it presents a grim picture of the magnitude of the disastrous trajectory of the mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia in the last 12 months – especially the image of one Covid-19 death out of every 16 people in Malaysia.”

But the worst in the Covid-19 pandemic is still to come as we have not reached the peak of daily new Covid-19 cases.

At a webinar in Kota Kinabalu over the weekend, a local consultant cardiologist Dr. Liew Houng Bang said the worst is yet to come and predicted that daily case numbers may double and peak in Sabah state in three more weeks.

He said that looking at Sabah’s current Covid-19 trend, the percentage of caseload increase week to week since mid July had been so exponential that the surge it had predicted is expected to worsen, and sooner than expected.

The said the current 3,000 per day on average in Sabah is alarming in the context of Sabah’s cases are higher than the national daily incidence at 82 cases per 100,000 population, compared to the Malaysia’s 69 case per 100,000.

Sabah has been recording unprecedented numbers to that of 20,983 Covid cases last week, 25 per cent more than the previous week, and nearly five times more than it had in the third week of July which was 4,497 cases.

He said it was a conservative estimate to project a 25 per cent increase per week in the next few weeks, and by mid September there could be 6,000 cases per day on average.

A sobering thought as to what are the likely Covid-10 figures when we mark the 58th Malaysia Day on September 16, 2021.

This is why the new Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin must tell Malaysians whether a new policy based on science and data will be introduced, that at long last there will be an “all-of-government” and “whole-of-nation” strategy and approach involving a total mobilisation of Malaysians and an end to the “Dua Darjat” mentality.

Malaysians are entitled to know when they can begin to see results in turning the tide of defeat in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic – whether in September or which month?

(Media Statement by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, 31st August 2021)

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