Will Noor Hisham’s forecast three weeks ago that Malaysia will climb to 24,000 Covid-19 cases a day in mid-September come one month earlier in mid-August?

Will the Health director-general, Noor Hisham Abdulah’s prediction three weeks ago that Malaysia may reach the peak of Covid-19 transmissions in mid-September with 24,000 cases a day come one month earlier in mid-August?

For the last six days, the daily new Covid-19 cases have exceeded 200 cases, ranging from 201 cases on 10th August to 360 cases on 8th August.

If the daily rolling average of the past six days represent the daily average for the rest of August, then we are set to have a very grim 64th National Day on August 31 as we may reach a cumulative total of 1.7 million Covid-19 cases and over 15,000 deaths.

We may suffer over 6,000 Covid-19 deaths in the month of August alone, when we took 13 months to reach the first thousand Covid-19 deaths on Feb. 17, 2021 when we recorded a cumulative total of 1,005 Covid-19 deaths.

When Noor Hisham projected that Malaysia might reach the peak of Covid-19 transmissions in mid-September, he was not expecting his prediction to come true, as he was presenting the worst-case scenario which he hoped would be averted.

The last thing Noor Hisham expected is for his prediction to be proven true one month earlier – another indication of the shocking mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia which had catapulted the country to be one of the worst performing nations in the world in the Covid-19 pandemic!

Community activist Dr. Mohamad Rafick Khan has described as “a suicidal move” any intention to follow through with the original plan by the Ministry of Education to reopen school which was announced on July 17, 2021.

When the Ministry of Education announced the decision on July 17, there were 12,541 daily new Covid-9 cases on and daily new 115 Covid-19 deaths on July 16. Yesterday, there were 21,668 new Covid-19 cases and 318 Covid-19 deaths.

On July 16, there were the cumulative total of 893,323 Covid-190 cases and 6,728 Covid-19 deaths. Yesterday, they have surged to 1,342,215 Covid-19 cases and 11,691 Covid-19 deaths.

I agree with Dr. Rafick that for a school to re-open under the Covid-19 pandemic, it must have a good COVID Risk Management Manual (CRMM) which empowers a risk management committee, provides the necessary funding and implement the Covid Risk Management Guidelines (CMRG) in schools. Risk management is a combined effort of the school, parents and medical professionals.

Covid-19 Risk Management (CRM) varies with the type of school. There might be a common component but in general, the variation is attributed to whether the school is boarding or non-boarding and the age of the students.

Vaccination is a component of Covid-19 Risk Management Guidelines (CRMG), but most importantly CRMM is designed to be preventive in nature and management of an outbreak to contain those infected and prevent further infection.

The Ministry of Education must reconsider its decision to re-open schools on Sept. 1 and engage in discussion with teachers, parents and medical practitioners on the issue.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri