5,566 Covid-19 cases, Selangor has most infections

PETALING JAYA: The health ministry has reported 5,566 Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours.

In a Facebook post, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the total number of infections now stands at 627,652.

Selangor recorded the highest number of cases with 1,524.

This was followed by Sarawak (707), Negeri Sembilan (505), Kuala Lumpur (466), Johor (456), Sabah (350), Melaka (314), Perak (225), Kelantan (204), Labuan (191), Penang (185), Pahang (157), Kedah (148), Terengganu (106), Putrajaya (27) and Perlis (1).  FREE MALAYSIA TODAY

10 million Malaysians must get jabbed soon, experts say

Virologist Dr Chee Hui Yee from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Universiti Putra Malaysia said at least 40% of the population must have some level of immunity against SARS-CoV-2 or Covid-19 within the next three months.Based on current data, she said at least 6.8% have gained immunity via vaccination while another 1.8% have gotten it through natural infection.

“We do not want to increase the level of immunity via natural infection. That is not what we want as this will cause more people to be infected and in need of medical attention,” she said.

Chee was commenting on World Health Organisation science council member Prof Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman’s recent statement that the Covid-19 death toll in Malaysia may hit a staggering 26,000 by September based on its current trajectory.

Adeeba cited a study, conducted by the Institute for Health Metric and Evaluation of the University of Washington in the United States, which estimated that 200 people a day could be dying from the virus by the end of August.

Chee said if the government can vaccinate more than 200,000 people a day with at least a single dose, then the number of vaccinated population will exceed 40%.

She also called for more vaccination centres to be set up and more volunteers recruited to speed up the process.

“The drive-through approach is a good move but we need to also consider those in rural areas. There should be more vaccination centres in rural areas,” she said.

Malaysian Public Health Physicians’ Association president Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar said ideally there should be 200,000 to 300,000 vaccinations a day.

He said this is crucial as hospitals, especially those in the Klang Valley, have reached their maximum capacity.

According to a fact sheet released by the government, the country received a total of 5.62 million doses of vaccines since the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme started.

Some 100 days into the programme, more than 3.3 million doses of vaccine have been administered with 1.12 million people completing their two-dose schedule.

The daily vaccination rate has also exceeded 100,000 and the government is now gunning to increase the daily doses administered to 200,000 by July 31.

The immunisation programme timeline is as follows:

February 21: Malaysia receives 312,390 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

February 24: The programme begins with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and director-general of health Dr Noor Hisham becoming the first recipients of the vaccine.

February 27: Malaysia receives 200 litres of vaccine from the Sinovac company in Beijing, which is enough to create 300,000 vaccine doses. Pharmaniaga Life Sciences will carry out the fill-and-finish product.

March 2: Sinovac and AstraZeneca get the greenlight for emergency use from the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency.

March 18: Malaysia begins administering the Sinovac vaccine with Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin being the first recipient.

April 2: 500,000 front-liners vaccinated under the programme.

April 12: A total of 1,018,937 doses have been administered. Phase two begins.

April 20: Appointments for the second phase are issued.

April 23: First batch of AstraZeneca from the Covax facility, comprising 268,800 doses, arrive in Malaysia.

May 2: Registration for AstraZeneca opt-in programme begins. All 268,800 slots are snapped up in under four hours.

May 5: First day of AstraZeneca vaccination begins.

May 6: 1,028,693 doses of vaccines administered.

May 8: 100,000 doses of Sinovac administered.

May 12: One million Pfizer doses administered.

May 18: 76,551 doses of vaccines administered in a day. Cumulative total of doses dispensed exceeds two million.

May 19: Vaccination centres operate seven days a week.

May 21: Malaysia adds 12.8 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The cumulative total of doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech now stands at 44.8 million, which is enough to vaccinate 70% of the population.

May 24: Five adults in a population of 100 receive their first dose. Malaysia receives 559,200 doses of AstraZeneca from Covax.

May 27: Daily vaccinations reach 100,000 doses a day.

May 28: One million people complete two doses.

May 31: Another mega vaccination centre, Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre opens. About 12,000 doses of vaccine are dispensed in the first week.

June 4: Muhyiddin announces the daily vaccination rate has exceeded 100,000 per day and the government is now gunning to increase the daily doses administered to 200,000 by July 31.

Malaysia has yet to begin the third phase of the programme, which was initially scheduled to begin last month.

Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said phase 3 may not take off on time due to limited supplies.

A total of 13.7 million citizens and non-citizens are supposed to be vaccinated under this phase.

Khairy had said the daily doses administered could reach 150,000 once the country receives more supplies this month.

Malaysia is set to receive 16 million doses of vaccine over the course of the next two months.

Muhyiddin had also said the government is still hoping to achieve its target of creating herd immunity by inoculation 80% by year-end.

To date, about 13 million people, or 51% of the targeted population, have signed up for vaccination.

Malaysia yesterday recorded 6,241 fresh cases, taking the national caseload to 616,815.

Another 87 deaths were reported, taking the toll of fatalities to 3,378.

Cases low due to insufficient testing, says doctor

Healthcare workers carry out mass Covid-19 screening in Kuala Lumpur. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Nazir Sufari, June 8, 2021.
“Telling us the daily case numbers are coming down without adjusting for testing numbers or test positivity is meaningless,” the doctor said in a tweet.“Cases will come down if we test less. Test positivity remains high. Too few tests for a huge outbreak.”

According to Dr Amar’s calculations, test positivity has ranged between 6.5% and 7.9% for the period between May 29 and June 7.

Rough calculations based on Ministry of Health data showed that between May 20 and June 1 there were between 89,227 and 114,000 test samples taken.

This indicates there was an increase in the number of samples taken for testing. The positive rate had been in the 4% mark.

Malaysia saw an all-time high of 9,020 positive cases on May 29. A back of the envelope calculation showed that there could have been as many as 126,480 samples taken.

Yesterday, the country reported 5,271 cases against 7,548 recoveries and 82 deaths.

The country’s cumulative caseload is now 622,086, while there were 84,269 active cases.

The country’s infectivity rate has also been on a steady decline, since June 3. The rate has been below R1.0 for the past two days. – THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT