A triple whammy in the Covid-19 pandemic yesterday after a sextuple whammy the day before

Malaysia was hit with a triple whammy in the Covid-19 pandemic after a sextuple whammy the day before.

The sextuple whammy that hit Malaysia on Wednesday were:

  1. Most daily Covid-19 cases – 19,819 cases.
  2. Most daily Covid-19 deaths - 251 deaths.
  3. Most Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admission – 1,060 cases.
  4. Most Active Covid-19 cases – 210,000.
  5. World’s No. 10 in daily new Covid-19 cases.
  6. World’s No. 10 in daily new Covid19 deaths.

It took Malaysia 10 months to reach the first 19,627 Covid-19 cases on Oct. 27, 2020 and the first 251 Covid-19 deaths on Nov. 2, 2020 but on Wednesday, Malaysia exceeded these grim numbers in one day.

Yesterday’s triple whammy for Malaysia in the Covid-19 pandemic were:

  1. Most daily Covid-19 cases - 20,595 cases.
  2. Breach of 10,000-mark for Covid-19 deaths – 10,019.
  3. Breach of 1.2 million-mark for cumulative total of Covid-19 cases – 1,203,7089 cases.

According to Our World in Data, Malaysia’s seven-day average daily new cases per million population increased by close to sixfold between May 1 (94.2 per million population) and August 4 (536.87 per million).

At this rate of Covid-19 infections, Malaysia is heading for 64th National Day on August 31, 2021 with more than 1.5 million Covid-19 cases and more than 15,000 Covid-19 deaths and a 58th Malaysia Day on Sept. 16, 2021 with two million Covid-19 cases and some 20,000 Covid-19 deaths, earning for Malaysia probably a 25th rank among nations in the world with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases.

What are we doing to prevent Malaysia from descending lower and lower into the bowels of the worst-performing nations in the world in the Covid-19 pandemic?

This is no way to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, especially with the threat of Delta, Delta Plus and other variants.

Do we need more international reports, like the monthly Bloomberg Covid Resilience Ranking to convince Malaysians that we have catapulted to be the world’s top dozen countries which are the worst performers in the Covid-19 pandemic, whether in terms of daily new Covid-19 cases or daily new Covid-19 deaths?

We have fallen from 16th to 52nd ranking, the next lowest, in the Bloomberg Covid Resilience Ranking out of 53 economies measured in economy size of more than US$200 billion. Although Indonesia is ranked 53rd and last, we have four times higher “daily cases per million population” index than Indonesia.

The country must re-focus to gain control of the worsening Covid-19 situation, and this can only be done if three conditions are met:

  1. End the major constitutional crisis plaguing the country.
  2. Admit the failures so far in the 20-month war against the Covid-19 pandemic and the need for a new policy and strategy to replace the National Recovery Plan which is truly “whole-of-society” and not just in lip-service. Parliament has a major role to draft this new policy and strategy. How can the Muhyiddin policy and strategy be “whole-of-society” when it could not even be “whole-of-Parliament”?
  3. Restore public trust and confidence in the new policy and strategy in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic based on “Living with Covid” instead of “Zero Covid” policy. A Parliament lockdown is a throwback to “Zero Covid” rather than “Living with Covid” policy.

The Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said yesterday that the number of new Covid-19 cases with serious symptoms will be used as a new indicator for the transition into phases 3 and 4 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) to replace the Covid-19 new cases indicator, using as proxy new hospital admission cases for Covid-19 adapted for categories three, four and five.

The country needs a National Recovery Council to bring the Covid-19 pandemic under control and spearhead economic and national recovery in Malaysia, but not to be tied to a National Recovery Plan which had not been able to get off the ground at the end of June and compelled decision makers to rely on a state-by-state transition instead of a national transition.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri