Malaysia

Covid-19 weekly round-up: Crisis easing off in Klang Valley as recoveries exceed new cases


Healthcare workers in protective suits are seen conducting Covid-19 testing in Ampang May 18, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Healthcare workers in protective suits are seen conducting Covid-19 testing in Ampang May 18, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 — After being in “pole position” for many months in terms of generating new Covid-19 cases, the Klang Valley has of late observed a decline in infections, thus enabling it to shift to the second phase of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) beginning today.   

Selangor was the worst-hit state with daily new cases spiking to over 8,000 early last month.  

In Kuala Lumpur, which used to be the second-highest contributor to new cases nationwide, daily new infections dropped from four-digit to three-digit figures throughout the week under review (Sept 4-9).

Selangor, which since Monday (Sept 6) has been displaced by Sarawak as the highest contributor to daily new cases, recorded 2,700 infections yesterday. The Land of the Hornbills, meanwhile, reported 3,118 new cases yesterday; 3,100 on Sept 8; 3,200 on Sept 7; and 3,714 on Sept 6.   

Yesterday, the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya recorded 513 and 28 new cases respectively.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced on Sept 8 that the government has given the nod to the Klang Valley to transition to the second phase of NRP based on the current risk assessment by the Ministry of Health (MoH) and National Security Council.

Over the 24-hour period up to noon yesterday, 19,307 new Covid-19 cases were reported nationwide, bringing Malaysia’s cumulative total to 1,919,774 and active cases to 242,802.

Since early this month, recoveries have been outnumbering new cases. Yesterday, 24,855 recovered cases were registered, bringing the nation’s total number of recoveries to 1,657,486 (86.3 percent of total cases).

Following is the breakdown of new cases reported during the week under review: Sept 4 (19,057); Sept 5 (20,396), Sept 6 (17,352); Sept 7 (18,547); Sept 8 (19,733); and Sept 9 (19,307).

As for fatalities, 323 more cases were recorded yesterday, bringing the death toll to 19,486 (1.0 percent of total cases).

A total of 967 patients are currently being treated in the intensive care unit with 464 of them requiring intubation/respiratory assistance.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said in a media statement yesterday that out of yesterday’s 19,307 new cases, 302 (1.6 percent) were in category three, four and five while 19,005 (98.4 percent) were in category one and two.

MoH considers patients in category five as critical cases requiring ventilator support. Category four cases, meanwhile, require oxygen while category three experience lung inflammation. Category one patients show no symptoms and category two, mild symptoms.

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Meanwhile, the Covid-19 infectivity rate or R-naught (R0) value has dipped to below 1.0 nationwide, the first time since June 27 this year.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah shared on his personal Facebook account the daily R0 or Rt value nationwide during the week under review, which is as follows:  

Sept 4 (0.95), Sept 5 (0.96), Sept 6 (0.96), Sept 7 (0.96), Sept 8 (0.97) and Sept 9 (0.97).

State-wise, Sarawak recorded the highest R0/Rt value yesterday at 1.15.

The R-Naught or R0/Rt value of a virus indicates the infectivity rate or the number of new infections generated by each case. An R0 value of 0.5 would be needed to flatten this deadly virus’ infection curve.

 Other developments in the nation

As of yesterday, the number of active clusters nationwide totalled 1,450. On the whole, Malaysia has recorded a total of 5,022 Covid-19 clusters, with 3,572 of them having ended.

During the week under review, 184 new clusters had emerged with most of them linked to the workplace (107, 58.1 percent) and the community (57, 31.0 percent).

Yesterday, eight states recorded four-digit new case numbers, six states three-digit and two states two-digit.

The state-by-state breakdown of new cases is as follows: Sarawak 3,118, Selangor 2,700, Sabah 2,298, Penang 2,243, Johor 2,032, Kelantan 1,438, Kedah 1,355, Perak 1,341, Terengganu 910, Pahang 661, Kuala Lumpur 513, Melaka 340, Negri Sembilan 207, Perlis 108, Putrajaya 28 and Labuan 15.

 Covid-19 scenarios in Malaysia (Sept 4-9)

 Following is the daily breakdown of recovered cases: Sept 4 (21,582), Sept 5 (20,573), Sept 6 (20,201), Sept 7 (18,902), Sept 8 (22,701) and Sept 9 (24,855).

Following is the daily breakdown of new cases, local transmissions and other related matters:

Sept 4 – new cases 19,057; local transmissions 19,047 (16,784 or 88.1 percent Malaysian citizens and 2,263 or 11.9 percent non-citizens);

Sept 5 – new cases 20,396; local transmissions 20,388 (17,858 or 87.6 percent Malaysians and  2,530 or 12.4 percent non-citizens);

Sept 6 – new cases 17,352; local transmissions 17,344 (15,122 or 87.2 percent Malaysians and 2,222 or 12.8 percent non-citizens);

Sept 7 – new cases 18,547; local transmissions 18,529 (16,264 or 87.8 percent Malaysians and 2,265 or 12.2 percent non-citizens);

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Sept 8 – new cases 19,733; local transmissions 19,730 (17,286 or 87.6 percent Malaysians and 2,444 or 12.4 percent non-citizens); and

Sept 9 – new cases 19,307; local transmissions 19,301 (17,125 or 88.7 percent Malaysians and 2,176 or 11.3 percent non-Malaysians).

 

The daily breakdown in fatalities is as follows:

Sept 4 – 362 cases, brought in dead or BID cases 104 (Malaysian citizens 69 and non-citizens 35);

Sept 5 – 336 cases, BID 107 (Malaysians 67 and non-citizens 40);

Sept 6 – 272 cases, BID 81 (Malaysians 56 and non-citizens 25);

Sept 7 – 311 cases, BID 93 (Malaysians 68 and non-citizens 25);

Sept 8 – 361 cases, BID 102 (Malaysians 71 and non-citizens 31); and

Sept 9 – 323 cases, BID 55 (Malaysians 36 and non-citizens 19).

(The BID cases refer to deaths that occurred outside healthcare facilities, with the bodies testing positive for Covid-19 after RT-PCR tests were carried out.)

Following is the daily breakdown of new clusters reported:

Sept 4 – new clusters 16 (workplace 12, community three and education one);

Sept 5 – new clusters 37 (workplace 21, community 12, high-risk group three and detention centre one);

Sept 6 – new clusters 30 (workplace 16, community seven, high-risk group four, education two and detention centre one);

Sept 7 – new clusters 39 (workplace 23, community 13, high-risk group one, education one and detention centre one);

Sept 8 – new clusters 35 (workplace 20, community 11, education two and high-risk group one); and

Sept 9 – new clusters 27 (workplace 15, community 11 and education one).

   Global Covid-19 statistics

 The total number of Covid-19 cases worldwide, according to Worldometer, at the time of writing this article stood at 224,000,332 (219,956,335 at the same time last Friday) and deaths 4,620,007 (4,557,084 last Friday). The total number of recoveries stood at 200,588,779.

Some 223 countries are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and those in the top 10 of the list are the United States, India, Brazil, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, Turkey, Iran, Argentina and Colombia.   

The breakdown is as follows: United States 41,561,156 cases (674,547 deaths); India 33,163,004 (442,046); Brazil 20,958,899 (585,205); Russia 7,084,284 (190,376); United Kingdom 7,132,072 (133,841); France 6,877,825 (115,362); Turkey 6,590,414 (59,170); Iran 5,237,799 cases (112,935); Argentina 5,218,993 (113,099); and Colombia 4,925,000 (125,480). 

China, where the outbreak was first reported at end-December 2019, is now at the 109th spot in the list of 223 countries affected by Covid-19 with 95,111 cases while its death toll remained at 4,636. 

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Besides Malaysia, the five other South-east Asian nations that have joined the list of 106 countries with more than 100,000 cases are Indonesia (13th spot) with 4,153,355 cases and 138,116 deaths, the Philippines (19th spot) with 2,161,892 cases and 34,733 deaths, Thailand (29th spot) with 1,338,550 cases and 13,371 deaths, Vietnam (49nd spot) with 576,096 and 14,470 deaths and Myanmar (62nd spot) with 425,414 cases and 16,285 deaths. 

Cambodia (108th spot) has reported  97,524 cases and 2,007 deaths; Singapore (116th spot) 70,039 cases and 57 deaths; Laos 16,742 cases and 16 deaths; and Brunei 3,831 cases and 17 deaths.

Covid-19 background

The World Health Organisation’s China country office was informed of cases of pneumonia that were detected in Wuhan on Dec 31, 2019. On Jan 7, 2020 the Chinese authorities confirmed that the newly detected novel coronavirus can be transmitted from human to human.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-COV).

A study of the virus’ genetic sequence suggested similarities to that seen in snakes and bats. China health officials identified the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan as the source of the transmission of the coronavirus.

On Feb 11, 2020, WHO announced the official name of the virus, Covid-19, which is an acronym for coronavirus 2019 — CO stands for corona, VI for virus and D for disease.

On Jan 30, 2020, WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak as a global emergency and on March 11, Covid-19 was declared a pandemic.

WHO has described the Covid-19 outbreak as much more dangerous than the A H1N1 Influenza, also known as Swine Flu.

Swine Flu, which occurred between January 2009 and August 2010, infected more than 1.6 million people and caused 18,449 fatalities. It was first detected in Mexico and later in the United States in March 2009.

Covid-19 was detected in Malaysia on Jan 25, 2020, when three Chinese citizens, who had entered Malaysia through Johore from Singapore on Jan 23, were tested positive for the disease.

New variants of the Covid-19 coronavirus have since emerged in the United Kingdom (identified as B117) in September 2020, South Africa (501Y.V2) in October 2020 and India (B.1.617), also in October 2020. — Bernama



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