The single biggest issue of the Covid-19 pandemic is the high fatality rate with 360 new Covid-19 deaths yesterday but it was completely omitted by Muhyiddin in his live telecast

The single biggest issue of the Covid-19 pandemic is the high fatality rate with 360 new Covid-19 deaths yesterday, but it was completely omitted by the Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in his live telecast yesterday.

When emergency was proclaimed on January 11, 2021 to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, there were 551 deaths from the first 12 months of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the seven months since the proclamation of emergency, Covid-19 deaths have increased 19.5 times to the present cumulative total of 10,749 deaths.

By the present rate of Covid-19 deaths, we will break the 11,000-mark for Covid-19 deaths either today or tomorrow and heading towards more than 15,000 Covid-19 deaths by the 64th National Day on August 31 and near 20,000 Covid-19 deaths by the 58th Malaysia Day on Sept. 16, 2021 – making these two national holidays the most tragic in the nation’s history.

On 3rd July, I criticised Muhyiddin for neglecting the high Covid-19 fatality rate in Malaysia and asked the Prime Minister to direct his Covid-19 team to focus on it as it was completely unacceptable for 2,374 people to die of Covid-19 in one month of June 2021.

But one Minister who had claimed that the Covid-19 pandemic was an indicator that the government had succeeded in managing the pandemic as the people were no longer afraid of Covid-19 scoffed at my statement.

For the information of this Minister, I have as yet to find a person in the country who is not afraid of Covid-19.

Since then, the death toll from Covid-19 had worsened.

In July, there were 3,854 Covid-19 deaths and in the first eight days of August, Covid-19 deaths totalled 1,729 and Malaysia is likely to have more than 5,000 deaths in August alone.

We have performed so badly in the war against Covid-19 pandemic that we have jumped from the world’s top dozen countries in daily Covid-19 deaths to the world’s top seventh nation with 360 Covid-19 deaths yesterday.

No country with such a high Covid-19 death rate can claim to be a caring (prihatin) government as we are enacting hundreds of tragedies every day.

What is of greatest concern is that there is still no light at the end of the tunnel, as between July 7 and Aug 7, the number of patients in the ICU grew from 948 to 1,097 while the number of active cases skyrocketed from 74,344 to 224,120 in the same period, putting unprecedented pressure on the healthcare system which are on breaking point in the Klang Valley.

But the greatest indictment of the mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic is that after 20 months of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Muhyiddin government has yet to spearhead a “whole-of-society” strategy and approach in war against the Covid-19 pandemic – and the strongest evidence is the continued shutdown of Parliament and the frustration of Members of Parliament from playing their full role in the war against Covid-19 pandemic.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri