The “agony and ecstasy” in daily tracking Malaysia’s longest Covid-19 wave in the world since September last year

In daily tracking Malaysia’s longest Covid-19 wave in the world since September last year, one suffers from both “agony and ecstasy”.

For instance, there is “ecstasy” when Malaysia recorded a daily drop of the thousand numeral in daily new Covid-19 cases and Covid-19 deaths in the last three days, as 7,509 new Covid-19 cases and 89 Covid-19 deaths on Oct. 16, 6,145 new Covid-19 cases and 63 Covid-19 deaths on Oct. 17 and 5,434 new Covid-19 cases and 72 Covid-19 deaths on Oct. 18.

If Malaysia drops a thousand numeral a day in daily new Covid-19 cases, we will on Thursday be near the January 11 figure when emergency was declared to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, when we recorded a daily 2,232 new Covid-19 cases and four Covid-19 deaths.

In such circumstances, we can look forward to daily triple-digit new Covid-19 cases by next week.

But will such a situation eventuate?

The “agony” comes from comparing Indonesia and India’s figures with Malaysian figures, when Indonesia has more than eight times Malaysia’s population and India has more than 42 times’ Malaysia’s population.

For the last three days, Indonesia had 997 daily new Covid-19 cases and 44 Covid-19 deaths on Oct. 16, 747 new cases and 19 deaths on Oct. 17 and 626 new cases and 47 deaths on Oct. 18.

The comparison with India also does no credit to Malaysia’s health system, as in last three days, India had 14,051 new cases and 146 deaths on Oct. 16, 14,280 new cases and 165 deaths on Oct. 17, and 12,242 cases and 164 deaths on Oct. 18.

It is an Achilles’ heel in Malaysia’s war against the Covid-19 pandemic that the “all-of-nation” strategy and approach has not yet been fully implemented in the ground, and the reason why Pakatan Harapan’s health committee has urged the Health Ministry to set a clear rollout strategy for Covid-19 vaccine booster shots.

The PH health committee said the booster rollout needs to be properly planned, specific, and well-coordinated among all stakeholders including private general practitioners (GPs) who are tasked to handle booster shots for frontliners and senior citizens.

The committee’s echoing of the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA)’s concerns that the GPs had not been engaged by state health departments on the rollout of the booster programme should be immediately addressed.

(Media Statement by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Gelang Patah on Tuesday, October 19, 2021)

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