Outbreak 2021: Malaysia Breaks An Insane 9,000 Daily COVID19 Infection Mark!

COVID19 Infection Outbreak Malaysia

The number of daily new COVID19 infections only has kept increasing with every day seeing the numbers recording new records.

As of 29th May 2021, Malaysia saw a new number of 9,020 COVID19 infections making a total of 558,534 COVID19 infections todate. Worst is the number of deaths – it was highest thus far at 98 deaths making a total of 2,650 deaths todate.

Out of the more than 78,000 active cases, 844 of them are still in ICU with 27 critically on ventilators. Infographic: MOH

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When the government opened the 2nd round of AstraZeneca Covid19 vaccination on 26th May 2021, I also tried to register for a slot only to see the system unable to accept my submission, hanging at times and clicking on the “I am not a robot” validation (I lost count after some time). I thought it only happened to me but then found that it was a universal issue with thousands of Malaysians venting their anger on the poor setup of the registration website.

Despite a clear inter-state travel ban in place, why there is still a large influx of people on the road? Are they running away from the strict lockdown that set to start on 1st June 2021?  Image source: Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah Facebook Page

The Plea From The Health DG

The number of infections has continued to increase and so do the number of deaths but somehow the stupidity and stubbornness among some Malaysians still remain high. These are the same case of stupidity and stubbornness that had caused many clusters to occur despite the inter-state and inter-district travel ban in place.

Seeing many vehicles on several major roads in the Klang Valley today has alarmed Health Director General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

Wondering where everyone was heading to when the government raised alarms over the rising number of Covid-19 cases, Dr Noor Hisham sent a chilling reminder to all travellers that the health system is at its brink.

“Where are you all going?” Dr Noor Hisham asked in a Facebook posting.

“Large movements are still visible despite the ban on interstate and intra-district travel. Spreading the disease from one place to another does not help us in our fight to curb the pandemic from spreading.

“Stay at home and go out only for important matters. Help us save our healthcare system that will crumble if we do not control the spread of Covid-19,” he said in his Facebook postings.

Along with the statement he shared several pictures of long queues of vehicles near the KL-Karak highway from the Gombak toll plaza, PLUS southbound highway from the Sg Besi highway tollgate and several tweets from the Malaysian Highway Authority twitter handle alerting the public to the heavy traffic on these two highways.

Dr Noor Hisham warned the public that if the health care workers fall, the public and their family members will not get the best care they need.

“Worse still, if there are no more beds in the hospitals for you. What’ll happen if you’re critically ill but all beds in the ICU are occupied.

“The frontliners are tired but we still persevere to save your lives,” he said.

(Source)

Seriously in addition to tightening the roadblocks to stop further inter-state travel, one also need to review the process for inter-state travel approval as well.

Some of it has not made any sense especially when it comes to VVIPs. It has now proven to have created new COVID19 clusters, especially after the last public holidays.

The Ministry of Health has detected a dozen new clusters linked to the Hari Raya celebrations just 14 days ago, with the numbers expected to rise in the coming weeks.

The Aidilfitri clusters were found in seven states involving 470 cases, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said on Twitter this evening.

The emergence of these clusters came even as public health authorities had enforced a nationwide movement control order banning Muslims from visiting relatives on the first day of Aidilfitri.

(Source)

On positive news, the State of Selangor, on the other hand, have increased the number of free COVID19 testing at ad-hoc testing centres which sees a higher number of infection but at the same time, reduces potential carriers in the open.

It is something that experts are proposing for other states to do aggressively as the testing in Selangor have clearly shown that the infection numbers are grossly understated without wider testing done:-

Selangor’s free mass Covid-19 screenings were a constructive step in combating the pandemic, said health experts who recommended the tactic as a critical accompaniment to other steps such as lockdowns.

Since launching the scheme, Selangor has consistently been the state with the highest number of new Covid-19 cases reportedly daily, but this development has led to views that states without a similar programme were allowing undiagnosed Covid-19 cases to go undetected

The medical professionals agreed with Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari and state Covid-19 task force chairman Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad that repeatedly enforcing the movement control order (MCO) without supplementary steps such as increased testing, aggressive contact tracing and accelerated vaccination would yield limited and temporary results.

The doctors also concurred that drastic steps such as the MCO should only be to alleviate pressure on the overwhelmed public healthcare system and not be considered a solution to the pandemic.

(Source)

Rate of COVID19 vaccination

As of 19th May 2021, Malaysia saw a total of 10,288,034 Malaysian registered for vaccination and out of which 1,263,585 been vaccinated. As of 29th May 2021, these numbers have improved to 11,788,915 Malaysian registered for vaccination and out of which 1,855,858 been vaccinated.

This means 1.5 million Malaysians had registered in the last 10 days alone. The vaccination rate has increased from 12.2% on 19th May 2021 to 15.7% on 29th May 2021.

As of 19th May 2021, the State of Selangor saw 2,663,921 Malaysian registered for vaccination which represent a 54.99% registration rate and of which only 165,185 had been vaccinated which represent a 3.41% vaccination rate.

As of 29th May 2021, the State of Selangor saw 3,159,392 Malaysian registered for vaccination which represent a 65.22% registration rate and of which only 254,120 had been vaccinated which represent a 5.25% vaccination rate.

Whilst the State of Selangor may be leading other states in the number of ad-hoc testing to reduce cases of new infections, the number of vaccination has not been impressive but understandable as vaccination is still controlled at the Federal level.

However, we may see the vaccination rate improve in the coming months:-

Malaysia, which is currently ramping up its vaccination efforts to flatten the Covid-19 infection curve, is expecting nearly 16 million more doses of vaccines in the next two months.

National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme’s coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin told the media that the additional vaccines expected to arrive by July include 2.2 million doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, 12 million doses of Sinovac vaccine and 1.2 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Meanwhile, Khairy said the Government intends to expedite the vaccination programme to achieve herd immunity, which is to have 80% of the population receive the vaccine jabs.

“We are hoping to achieve 150,000 jabs a day in June,” he said at a virtual media briefing today.

(Source)

One just needs to ensure that the government keeps to their vaccination targets to reduce the number of infections and improve on them with lessons learned from the recent AstraZeneca Covid19 registration fiasco so that future registration will be seamless and leaves no frustrations on part of Malaysians wanting to take the proactive step to get vaccinated.

Final Say

A few days ago, my younger brother messaged saying that he and his family have been tested positive for COVID19 but due to the high number of infection cases and limited space in the quarantine centres, the Ministry of Health representative had advised them to only quarantine themselves and only contact the hospital if their situation gets worse.

This is the situation in Malaysia as of now where if you are tested positive and not in a bad condition, you will need to stay at home and hope for the best. This was different a year ago when the Ministry will send over an ambulance to pick you up if you are tested positive for COVID19 for observations at government hospitals or quarantine centres.

On 29th May 2021, we have broken the 9,000 infection case barrier but expect these infection numbers to be broken in the coming days as more testing and more cases of new infections being reported. The government will be implementing a stricter lockdown starting from 1st June 2021 but as we have seen from MCO 2.0 and to the current MCO 3.0, lockdowns have not done much to curtails the spread of the COVID19 infections. It is mainly due to the fact that most businesses are opened and people are still travelling despite the travel ban.

Hopefully, the vaccination rate picks up as promised in June 2021 and this will bring the number of new infection cases down enough for the frontliners to have some breathing space and to avoid the collapse of medical facilities.

Stay safe and adhere to the SOPs all time.

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