PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia’s tally of daily Covid-19 infections is expected to reach 8,000 by the third week of March this year, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah.
He said this is based on a projection by the Health Ministry on the current infectivity rate, or R-Naught (R0), of 1.2.
Malaysia continues to record four-digit daily Covid-19 cases, with 3,631 infections logged today.
Dr. Noor Hisham said Malaysia’s cumulative tally of cases stands at 165,371, with 39,464 active cases.
“Based on the projection of infectivity rate between Sept 12 (last year) and May 31, the R-Naught yesterday (Monday) was 1.16 with 3,306 cases. Today, we recorded 3,361 new cases, exceeding the projected R0 1.2.
“If we look at the projection of R-Naught, we predict the number of Covid-19 daily cases will reach 5,000 in the third week of February and 8,000 in the third week of March,” he said.
Selangor today registered the highest number of new infections at 1,199, followed by Sabah (526) and Kuala Lumpur (521).
Of the new cases, seven are imported while the remaining are local transmissions, he said.
Of the local transmissions, 2,754 cases involve locals, while 870 are foreigners.
He said many of the reported cases might have been exposed to the virus, which has a two-week incubation period, prior to the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO).
“The results of MCO 2.0, which began on Jan 13, have yet to be seen and daily cases may further rise in two or three days.
“Now we could see that our projection of new infections is higher at R0 1.2. However, we might see the number of new cases stabilise at about 3,000 daily in the coming days. We can see the impact of the MCO in a week, and will review whether to extend it for another two weeks.”
He said the MCO was now enforced nationwide except for Sarawak, which is currently under the Recovery MCO.
He said the implementation of the MCO will be reviewed in one or two days to see if there is a need to further enhance it.
In addressing the increasing number of patients, 14 hospitals nationwide were recently enlisted to treat Covid-19 cases, namely, Sultan Ismail Hospital (20 beds), Muar Hospital (24 beds), Sultanah Nora Ismail Hospital (28 beds), Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital (60 beds), Serdang Hospital (108 beds), Selayang Hospital (56 beds), Pekan Hospital (12 beds), Jengka Hospital (50 beds), Muadzam Shah Hospital (28 beds), Setiu Hospital (56 beds), Jeli Hospital (24 beds), Kudat Hospital (re-activated, 29 beds), Limbang Hospital (28 beds) and Sarikei Hospital (16 beds).
The Health Ministry today reported 14 new coronavirus fatalities, which brings the death toll to 619.
Dr Noor Hisham said 238 patients are currently being treated in intensive care units (ICU) and 96 of them require breathing support.
Meanwhile, 2,944 more patients recovered today, taking the recovery tally to 125,288 (75.8 percent of overall cases).