We have missed the boat and will not be able to achieve Pre-Emergency situation in Covid-19 pandemic this year, let alone end the longest Covid-19 wave in the world going back to September last year

Malaysians must now keep their eyes on the twin disasters in Malaysia – the two-year Covid-19 pandemic and the floods disaster in Selangor and Pahang, which have claimed 27 lives so far, the highest death toll since the last major floods in 2014.

On the Covid-19 pandemic, which has claimed 31,221 lives and exceeded cumulative total of 2.7 million Covid-19 cases, we have missed the boat and will not be able to achieve pre-Emergency situation this year, let alone end the longest Covid-19 wave in the world going back September last year.

Yesterday’s record of 3,519 daily new Covid-19 cases and 29 daily Covid-19 deaths signified that we are not going to return before the end of this year to the pre-Emergency period when there were 2,232 daily new Covid-19 cases and four daily Covid-19 deaths on January 11, 2021 when Emergency was declared to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

This has been quite an emergency – with ever-higher increase of Covid-19 cases and deaths with the passage of the Emergency and Malaysia losing out to countries which have not declared any emergency to fight Covid-19 pandemic.

The daily increase of 2,589 new Covid-19 cases on 20th December – lowest in more than seven months - had given hope that there was a possibility of returning to the pre-Emergency level Covid-19 cases in January this year if not to end the third Covid-19 wave in the country going back to September last year, but the new Covid-19 cases in the last two days – 3,140 cases on 21st December and 3,519 cases on 22nd December - were indications that the last week of 2021 will be spent struggling to fall below the 3,000-cases level.

This is tragic and shameful, when other nations, particularly in ASEAN, are doing better in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic – with Indonesia yesterday reporting 179 new cases and 10 Covid-19 deaths, Philippines 261 new cases and 122 deaths, Thailand 2,532 cases and 31 deaths and Singapore 335 new cases and one death.

Indonesia has in fact been having triple-digit daily increase of new Covid-19 cases for more than two months since Oct. 15 and achieved single-digit Covid-19 deaths for 10 days in December.

Even India has fallen from its peak of 414,433 new Covid-19 cases on May 6 to 4,824 new cases yesterday, which is faster than Malaysia which fell from our peak of 24,593 new cases on August 26 to 3,592 new cases yesterday.

Malaysia must live with Covid-19 but when will daily new Covid-19 cases in Malaysia fall to double-digit figures and Covid-19 deaths to single-digit figure?

Or is the Covid-19 statistics of 2,232 new cases a day, for which an Emergency was declared on January 11, 2021, to become the norm in Malaysia and the best that Prime Minister Ismail Sabri’s Cabinet - which got a score of 90 per cent for its first hundred-day performance – could do?

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri