Daily cases may hit 9,000 by June due to SOP non-compliance, says ministry
THE Ministry of Health forecasts that Covid-19 cases in the country will hit approximately 9,000 new cases daily by June due to non-compliance to standard operating procedure (SOP).
The Susceptible, Exposed, Infectious and Removed (SEIR) model, forecast an upward trend in the number of cases from May 30, with almost 9,000 daily cases by June 6 with an infectivity rate (Rt) of more than 1.2.
Rt is used to measure how quickly the virus is spreading.
Previously, the ministry had forecasted around 5,000 new cases per day by June but daily Covid-19 cases have surpassed the previous forecast.
On May 12, a third movement-control order (MCO 3.0) was implemented nationwide in an effort to bring down the number of cases.
The SEIR model predicts that if SOP are observed, daily cases can be reduced to approximately 1,000 daily cases with an infectivity rate (Rt) of 0.8.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a tweet that the Rt for Malaysia as of May 13 stands at 1.14.
Perak recorded the highest infectivity rate at 1.32, followed by Terengganu (1.29) and Penang (1.21.).
Selangor, Johor, Malacca, Kuala Lumpur, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah and Pahang recorded an infectivity rate above 1.0.
Sabah, Kelantan, Putrajaya and Sarawak recorded an infectivity rate below 1.0.
Four cases were reported in Labuan while Perlis recorded zero cases.
Speed up immunisation instead of repeating lockdowns, says Sim
“Will the government be able to achieve its goal? Clearly it has strayed from its original target,” Sim said.
Phase two of the vaccination programme is supposed to inoculate 9.4 million people of 30.9% of the population by August.
Khairy Jamaluddin, the coordinating minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme said that Malaysia will receive 875,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca between May 19 and June 1.
“The question is what is the assurance that we will receive the vaccines in June and even if we get the supply, can the existing process help increase daily vaccination rate to reach 9.4 million people by August?” Sim asked.
He said the government’s target of 160,000 daily vaccination for phase two was not convincing as it was three times the current capacity of 40 to 50 thousand people per day, even though we are already in the second month of phase two.
“Even with the increase in the supply of vaccines, additional vaccination centres and vaccinators, it is worrying that the daily vaccination rate will not reach 160,000 people a day and its target of 9.4 million people by the end of August, let alone 80% by the end of the year.”
Sim urged the government to take any measure, including spending more money to increase vaccine supplies to boost daily vaccination rates in order to immunise 80% of the population by the end of the year as planned.
“We don’t have another choice, Putrajaya should stop playing with the lives of the people with a lockdown strategy that is a mockery.
“We should put all our efforts into speeding up the vaccination process,” he said.
On May 10, the Putrajaya imposed a national lockdown as cases trended above 3,000 and 4,000 for a few weeks, less than a month after Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin promised there would be no more nationwide restrictions.
Under this movement restriction from May 12 to June 7, all educational institutions will be closed, and all social visits, sports and recreational activities are banned (except those in open areas like jogging, cycling and exercising with physical distancing observed).
Also prohibited are inter-district and interstate travel, with certain exceptions. Economic sectors are, however, allowed to operate.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT