24 Covid-19 deaths on Friday and 15 deaths on Saturday is exceedingly high and greatly reducing the Covid-19 mortality rate in Malaysia should be one of the top priorities of Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin

There were 15 Covid-19 fatalities yesterday and 24 Covid-19 deaths, confirming Malaysia as the country with the highest number of deaths per capita in the ASEAN and East Asian regions with 972 deaths per 1 million population and the fourth worst in Asia.

These high Covid-19 mortality rates for Malaysia are completely unacceptable and greatly reducing the Covid-19 mortality rate in Malaysia should be one of the top priorities of the Health Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin.

I hope this will be one challenge Khairy will take up and that he will make progress in the next fortnight so that the Yang di Pertuan Agong will have good news on the Covid-19 mortality front when he officially opened the fifth session of the 14th Parliament on 28th February 2022.

Johor remains the second state in Malaysia in the last fortnight with the most Covid-19 deaths – recording 22 deaths as compared to the top state with the highest number of Covid-19 deaths in the past fortnight – Perak, which had 25 deaths, and Selangor, the third state with 17 Covid-19 deaths.

Malaysia is facing an Omicron wave, as Saturday’s 22,802 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the cumulative infections of over three million mark, is the fourth highest daily new Covid-19 infection throughout the two-year Covid-19 pandemic. Today we are still in five-digit numbers with 21,072 cases.

We are in line to set a new peak of daily new Covid-19 cases with the present peak at 24,599 cases on August 26, 2021.

Last year, US-based Cardiologist Afshine Emrani in a tweet claimed that Omicron was nothing more than a seasonal cold virus.

He tweeted: “It is attenuated. Almost no hospitalisations. No critical patients. No oxygenation. No intubation. Everyone will be exposed and will get it. Mass herd immunity. Totally replaces Delta. Within 8-12 weeks, the world will be ‘vaccinated’. Why the panic? It could’ve been a lot worse. Show gratitude to nature for finally eliminating a manmade, lab-leaked nasty virus! We are blessed.”

Afshine went on to claim that the United States will report two million positive cases a day for weeks, after which the “numbers will drop dramatically”.

But Afshine has been proved wrong and no country has reported two million Omicron cases. The most the United States has recorded is 903,620 cases on 13th January 2022, and which has come down to 59,579 cases yesterday. The United States reached its Delta peak on 308,320 cases on January 8, 2021 – with the Omicron daily peak almost three times the Delta daily peak.

The Delta peak in United Kingdom was 71,285 new daily cases on 8.1.2021 while the Omicron peak was 229,622 daily new cases on 4.1.2022 – an Omicron daily peak increase by 3.2 times.

As Germany seems to confirm that the Omicron daily peak is about three times that of the Delta daily peak, are we looking at a daily peak of about 75,000 for Malaysia?

I ask my public health expert adviser yesterday what he thought of the latest Covid-19 situation, and these are his views:

“There is no doubt that the talk of the week must be the rising number of new daily cases in the country from about 5K to 7K then 9K then 17K then 19K till now 20K followed by 22K. What is the reason.

“Well firstly, MOH has decided to include all testing results reported, including self test kits.

“This may give rise to many false positives and also false negatives. Testing from a low of 90-100K in early January to now almost daily of 250K tests daily.

“Surely if you test more, you will find more cases. That also mean that previous low test left many cases undiscovered to fester and manifest now.

“Back in 2020 and 2021, they were doing focal testing, not nationwide testing although that would have been better.

“The second reason is the variant Omicron infecting many in the country now. This is supported by the fact that although new cases are in the 20K range, yet ICU is not stressed and death has remain low still.

“Although we have 22K new cases, almost all are in the ‘flu like’ illness category. Only 0.456% are in Cat 3 and above.

“So while Omicron is highly infectious, it causes asymptomatic and mild illness, usually not requiring hospital admissions and not requiring Oxygen and ventilator.

“Of course the exceptions are those who are vulnerable from other illnesses like those on cancer therapy or with cancers, the elderly with diabetes and heart failure and the like. Those vulnerable should be protected while the rest of society should be free without restrictions.

“The MOH keeps harping on vaccines and boosters although it is clear now, from the experience in Israel, Singapore and even local experience that people still get infected by Omicron even after a 3rd dose. Those vaccines and boosters are not helpful and in fact maybe harmful.

“MOH itself reports a booster adverse effect rate of 5.18%. Now that for us is alarming and merit a thorough investigation and temporary halt to those shots. Vaccines and boosters are mainly given to NORMAL HEALTHY people to prevent disease. How can we give them a risk of 5% of harm?”

(Media Statement (2) by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 13th February 2022)

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