Covid Infamy in Malaysia: In 30 days in December 2021, Malaysia has 20 times Covid-19 cases and four times Covid-19 deaths of Indonesia, which has more than eight times the population of Malaysia
Today is the last day of the last week for 2021.
I have written about an infamy a day for Malaysia in the six days for the last week of 2021.
Today is no exception.
The final day of infamy in the last week of infamy for Malaysia is that in the 30 days in December 2021 from Dec. 1 – Dec. 30, Malaysia has 20 times Covid-19 cases and four times Covid-19 deaths of Indonesia, which has more than eight times the population of Malaysia.
On December 1, 2021, Malaysia had cumulative totals of 2,638,221 Covid-19 cases and 30,474 Covid-19 deaths while on Dec. 30, the cumulative totals went up to 2,754,013 cases and 31,462 Covid-19 deaths, which tantamount to 116,292 Covid-19 cases and 988 Covid-19 deaths in the 30 days in December 2021.
For Indonesia, the cumulative totals on Dec. 1, 2021 were 4,256,687 Covid-19 cases and 143,840 Covid-19 deaths which increased on Dec. 30 to 4,262,546 Covid-19 cases and 144,088 Covid-19 deaths – which means 5,859 Covid-19 cases and 248 Covid-19 deaths for the 30 days of December, 2021.
These Malaysian and Indonesian figures about the Covid-19 pandemic means that for the 30 days of December, Malaysia has 20 times Covid-19 cases and four times Covid-19 deaths than Indonesia, which has more than eight times the population of Malaysia.
Malaysia ranks No. 27 and Indonesia ranks No. 45 in the 2021 Global Health Security (GHS) Index which measures the capacities of 195 countries to prepare for epidemics and pandemics.
Why had Malaysia fallen so badly in the Covid-19 pandemic response?
When Ismail Sabri took his oath of office as the ninth Prime Minster of Malaysia on August 21, there was a ten-fold increase in the daily new Covid-19 cases to 22,262 cases from the date of declaration of Emergency on January 11, 2021 and an increase by more than 50 times in number of daily Covid-19 casualties to 223 Covid-19 deaths on that day.
We had lost the war against the Covid-19 pandemic, and if the exponential rates of increase of Covid-19 cases and deaths had continued, at the end of Ismail Sabri’s first 100 days at the end of November, we might have cumulative totals of five million Covid-19 cases and some 100,000 Covid-19 deaths and by the end of the year, some 10 million Covid-19 cases and some 200,000 Covid-19 deaths.
This was one main reason why I supported the confidence-supply-reform (CSR) memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Ismail Sabri and the Pakatan Harapan leaders, for when the country is faced with an existential threat involving millions of Covid-19 cases and tens of thousands of human lives, Malaysians must put their differences aside to protect lives, livelihoods and the national fabrics of Malaysian society.
We have ended the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic but we have not yet won the war against it.
Instead of cumulative totals of five to ten million Covid-19 cases and 100,000 to 200,000 Covid-19 deaths, we have now the cumulative totals at the end of the year of 2.75 million Covid-19 cases and over 31,000 Covid-19 deaths.
We have averted a great catastrophe for Malaysia but the improvement in Covid-19 cases and Covid-19 deaths have been agonisingly slow and appeared to have lost steam and petered out.
Yesterday, Indonesia recorded 189 daily new Covid-19 cases and seven Covid-19 deaths as compared to Malaysia’s 3,997 daily new Covid-19 cases and 34 Covid-19 deaths.
Indonesia had one day in December fallen to double-digit daily new Covid-19 cases and for 18 days in December had single-digit Covid-19 death figures, but Malaysia had never gone below the pre-Emergency 2,232 daily new Covid-19 cases and the lowest daily Covid-19 deaths recorded was 17 deaths.
There was some hope on Dec. 27 and 28 that Malaysia might drop below the pre-Emergency 2,232 daily new Covid-19 cases but such hopes were dashed when daily new Covid-19 cases rose to 2,997 cases yesterday.
When will the third Covid-19 wave in Malaysia, which has become one of the longest Covid waves in the world lasting some 15 months going back to September last year, finally end?
To deal with this Covid-19 infamy, the Cabinet should establish a commission of public health experts to study why Malaysia had performed so poorly in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic so that we can be better prepared for future pandemics.