Most distressing that grim forecasts of Covid-19 pandemic proved right
On November 18, 2020, I warned that if Malaysia continued to surge with four-digit daily increases (and it was in the less than 2,000 category), by the end of the year in 2020, Malaysia will overtake China as a country with more Covid-19 infections!
At that time, China was placed No. 64th country with 86,361 Covid-19 cases and Malaysia was placed No. 85 with 49,730 Covid-19 cases.
On December 16, 2020, Malaysia overtook China, where the Covid-19 pandemic started and which had a population 40 times that of Malaysia – many days earlier than I had expected.
On December 30, we were ranked No. 74 in the world among countries with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 infections, with 108,615 cases while China was ranked No. 81 with 87,003 cases.
I warned that at the rate of our daily increase of Covid-19 cases, we were likely to overtake Myanmar as No. 68th country in the world with the most number of cumulative total of Covid-19 cases in three weeks’ time.
I called for urgent action to stem the *runaway” Covid-19 situation, the summoning of a special Parliament to set up a Select Committee on the Covid-19 pandemic and to launch an “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” strategy and approach in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nothing was done.
On 8th January, 2021, we overtook Myanmar and became the third country in ASEAN after Indonesia and Philippines in having the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases.
On 24th January, 2021, I warned that Malaysia would likely break the 200,000-mark by the end of January 2021 and we are likely be ranked among the top 50 countries in the world with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases before the Chinese New Year on February 12, 2021.
We crashed through the 200,000-cases line with a mighty daily increase of 5,725 Covid-19 cases, and if the trajectory continues, we are likely to be among the top 50 countries in the world with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases by the first week of February.
It is no pleasure whatsoever to see my various grim forecasts come true. It is in fact most distressing. As compared to our world ranking on Nov. 18 when we were No. 85 among countries with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases, we have infamously jumped 31 places and is now ranked No. 54.
Do we want to be among the top 50 countries with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases by the first week of February?
Are we going even to overtake Philippines at the end of May and become the second nation in ASEAN after Indonesia in being worst afflicted by the Covid-19 pandemic?
In the index for “Total cases/1 million population”, we are worse than Indonesia, which is 3,875 and Philippines, which is 4,741. Malaysia’s index is 6,430.
Malaysia has lost out in ASEAN to Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei and Laos as illustrated by the following Covid-19 cumulative totals for the respective ASEAN countries:
Indonesia – 1,066,313 cases
Philippines - 523,516 cases
Malaysia - 209,661 cases
Myanmar - 139,864 cases
Singapore - 59,507 cases
Thailand - 17,953 cases
Vietnam - 1,767 cases
Cambodia - 464 cases
Brunei - 180 cases
Laos - 44 cases
Malaysia must go on a war footing in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic, not against any Malaysian or group but against the coronavirus as the country is heading towards a Covid catastrophe.
We must learn to fight a new war against the coronavirus, which is not a conventional warfare at all, that gives priority to win the hearts and minds of Malaysians instead of imposing punishments and enhancing penalties.
There can be no delay for the Cabinet to advise the Yang di Pertuan Agong to convene a Special Parliament, which should act as a War Parliament for the war against the Covid-19 pandemic.
The War Parliament against the Covid-19 pandemic should the centrepiece and platform of the “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” strategy and approach in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic to restore public trust and confidence in the strategy and to instil in every Malaysian a “war mentality” to single-mindedly contribute to the war effort against the Covid-19 pandemic.