PETALING JAYA: It has been a record-breaking week for Malaysia, although not in a good way as the health ministry reported yet another record high of Covid-19 infections yesterday with 9,020 cases.
This was the fifth consecutive day of breaching the all-time high of daily infections, which seems like a record in itself. Malaysia also broke its all-time high of deaths with 98 reported yesterday
On May 25, Malaysia breached the 7,000-mark for the first time as 7,289 cases were reported, and the figure continued at new highs for the next four days, with 7,478, 7,857, 8,290 and 9,020 infections consecutively.
The surge undoubtedly puts further pressure on the already stretched public healthcare system, as states like Kelantan and Negeri Sembilan recorded 907 and 898 cases just yesterday. Even Labuan recorded its highest increase ever yesterday, with 253 infections.
Throughout the week, a total of 451 people lost their lives. As of yesterday, the death toll stood at 2,650.
There were also 53,419 new infections against 30,432 recoveries this week, with 76,218 active cases still being treated.
Since May 16, a total of 145 new Covid-19 clusters have also been detected. However, despite the consistent spike in cases, the infection rate has gone down, going from 1.21 at the start of the week to 1.15.
As of May 28, a total of 2.7 million people have received at least one vaccine dose, up from 1.42 million at the start of the week.
Covid-19 making the headlines
FMT now takes a look at some of the major headline news involving Covid-19 over the past week.
Going back into lockdown
After the nation recorded its highest daily spike at the time with 8,290 cases on Friday, Putrajaya announced a total nationwide lockdown, similar to the first movement control order (MCO), from June 1 to June 14.
Calls for a total lockdown from politicians and the public had been growing, with even the Sultan of Johor giving his views.
Only essential economic and services sectors are allowed to operate when the lockdown begins. However, Sarawak has reportedly decided not to follow Putrajaya and will continue with its current MCO protocols.
Just last week, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the government decided on tighter movement restrictions instead of a total lockdown because it would cause more people to lose their jobs, leaving them unable to revive their lives and the economy.
Cases per capita surpasses India
On May 23, Malaysia surpassed India’s number of cases per capita after reporting 185.3 daily new infections per million people on a rolling seven-day average. This meant that Malaysia recorded 185.3 Covid-19 infections for every one million residents.
In comparison, India recorded 184.99 cases per million people while the United States reported 76.31 cases per million people, according to data from Johns Hopkins University published in scientific online publication Our World in Data.
India had set a new global record of 414,188 Covid-19 cases on May 6, as the nation struggled to combat the new wave of the pandemic.
AstraZeneca no longer opt-in
After great response to the second round of registrations for the AstraZeneca vaccines, vaccination minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced that the next batch of the jabs will no longer be available on an opt-in, voluntary basis.
Instead, it will be re-incorporated into the mainstream of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK). Khairy said the people’s response was proof that there was no longer any hesitance among Malaysians about the vaccine.
However, he had drawn flak over the chaotic registration process, with technical issues plaguing registrants as the million available slots were snapped up in about an hour.
Choose what vaccine you want
At the same press conference, Khairy also announced that the science, technology and innovation ministry was looking at adding a feature to MySejahtera to allow the public to choose what vaccine they want to get under PICK.
He said the feature would also allow users to choose their preferred date, time and place, while making the process more seamless and convenient.
“We want to make the process as easy as possible so we’re working on a few options. We will announce this in the next couple of weeks,” he said.
Public advised to ‘double mask’
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah advised members of the public to “double-mask” in order to attain maximum protection and reduce their exposure to Covid-19.
This is done by wearing a cloth mask on top of a medical-grade mask, which is said to help filter more particles than wearing a single cloth mask alone.
People are advised to always pair a surgical and cloth mask for double-masking and avoid wearing a similar type of mask for double-masking, while no doubling up is required for the N95 mask.