Malaysia has resumed the march to make the light at the end of the tunnel of the Covid-19 pandemic brighter but it is still a long way to return to pre-Emergency days before January 11 or to the period when we had double-digit daily cases and single-digit daily deaths
Malaysians shared with the Health Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin the relief and anticipation that the country has resumed the march to make the light at the end of the tunnel of the Covid-19 pandemic brighter but it is still a long way to return to the pre-Emergency days before January 11 or to the period when we had double-digit daily cases and single-digit daily deaths.
When emergency was declared on January 11, 2021 to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, we had 2,232 daily new Covid-19 cases, a cumulative total of 138,224 cases, four daily Covid-19 deaths and a cumulative total of 555 deaths as compared to the present 7,373 daily new cases, cumulative total 2,339,594 cases, daily 64 Covid-19 deaths and cumulative total of 27,329 Covid-19 deaths.
The last time had we had triple-digit daily new Covid-19 cases was Dec. 8, 2020 when we had 851 cases; the last time we had double-digit daily cases was on Sept 30 when we had 89 cases; while the last time we had single-digit Covid-19 daily deaths was in April this year.
With the announcement by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob yesterday that interstate travel will be allowed for those who have been fully vaccinated, the previous Prime Minister’s four-phase National Recovery Plan has been abandoned.
The National Recovery Plan was announced by the then Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, on June 15 to pre-empt the special meeting of the Conference of Rulers the next day.
Although this abandonment is in line with the policy of “Living with Covid” instead of eradicating Covid-19 - which I had advocated as far back as April in contrast to relying on “total lockdowns – we must be nimble and agile to deal with new and quickly-changing circumstances as there are many unknowns in the Covid-19 pandemic.
Khairy should heed the warning of the medical specialist whom I had been in correspondence, viz:
“Be that as it may, Minister is taking a chance as it may all blow up in his face one day later on. Looks like he is banking heavily on vaccines but the vaccine effects seemed highly variable in many nations and Singapore, one of the nations with the highest vaccination rate is suffering badly from a second wave.
“The vaccine induced immunity seemed waning and leaving many unprotected. In Singapore, almost 50% of those in ICU are vaccinated. This must give much concern to the Minister as his strategy can blow up in his face. But come what may, he looks like taking a chance and going for ‘living with the virus’ either in late November or December.”
The immediate question is when Malaysia will see a return to the pre-emergency period when the daily new Covid-19 cases have dropped to 2,232 cases and the daily Covid-19 deaths have dropped to four.