Malaysia must stop setting dubious new records in the Covid-19 pandemic if we are to return to normality and start on economic and national recovery

Malaysia must stop setting dubious new records in the Covid-19 pandemic if we are to return to normality and start on economic and national recovery.

Yesterday we set three dubious new records in Covid-19 pandemic when we firstly, set new peaks for daily new Covid-19 cases (24,599 cases) and daily Covid-19 deaths (393 deaths of which 100 were BID – brought-in-dead) and secondly, Malaysia overtook Chile in having more cumulative total of Covid-19 cases and is now ranked No. 24 among nations with most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases.

Tomorrow, we are likely to overtake another country, the Czech Republic, to be ranked No. 23 among nations with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases.

For the third consecutive day, we have beaten both Indonesia (16,899 cases) and Philippines (16,313 cases) in daily new Covid-19 cases.

Malaysians are numbed by the ceaseless increases of Covid-19 cases and deaths - a disturbing sign of Covid-19 fatigue among the people.

The prediction of the Health Director-General, Noor Hisham Abdullah at the end of last month that Malaysia will reach the peak of Covid-19 transmissions in mid-September with 24,000 cases a day has come one month earlier in August, but this does not appear to be the peak for daily new Covid-19 cases.

What will the peak of daily new Covid-19 cases in current surge of Covid-19 cases?

Although Selangor’s Covid-19 infections fallen below seven thousand figures, there are eight states which have daily new four-digit cases, namely Selangor (6,936), Sabah (3,487), Johor (2,785), Penang (2,078), Sarawak (2,024), Kedah (1,538), Kelantan (1,312) and Perak (1,170), with Sabah, Johore and Penang reaching record-nigh figures yesterday.

As Johore has become the third state with the highest daily new Covid-19 cases, it is urgent and imperative that walk-in Covid-19 vaccination centres for the elderly, individuals with disabilities, people with comorbidities, teachers and those who missed their second dose should be started immediately in Johore like other states like Perak, Kedah, Penang, Sabah, Melaka, Kelantan and Sarawak.

In fact, this was announced by the then National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin on August 2 but it had not been implemented.

I agree with the DAP MP for Kulai, Teoh Nie Ching, that this is a matter which required instant action and which cannot wait until the new Cabinet is sworn in next Monday.

In the ten days between the appointment of Ismail Sabri as the ninth Prime Minister on August 20 and the swearing-in of the new Cabinet on Monday, 30th August 2021, we are likely to have over 200,000 new Covid-19 cases and over 2,000 Covid-19 deaths, when it had taken a year to reach the first 200,000 Covid-19 cases and 17 months to reach the first 2,000 Covid-19 deaths.

This is why reducing the Covid-19 cases to first triple-digit and then double-digit figures and reduce the Covid-19 deaths to first double-digit and then single-digit figures is of the most paramount and critical importance, and all Malaysians, irrespective to race, religion, region or politics must be united on this national endeavour.

This is why I support in principle Pakatan Harapan and the Opposition reaching a Confidence-Supply-Reform Agreement (CSRA) with the Government so that we put politics aside for 12-18 months and all Malaysians focus on winning the war against the Covid-19 pandemic, return the country to normality and embark on economic and national recovery.

But the CSRA should be a meaningful agreement and not a hollow document.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri