Echoing the thoughts of many Malaysians, the Health DG said, “I fear the worst is yet to come.”
While the whole country waits with bated breath ahead of today’s public address by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah took to Facebook yesterday to express his mounting concern over Malaysia’s high number of Covid-19 cases being reported daily.
Comparing Covid-19 deaths in the country that happened during the first nine months of staggered lockdown stages in 2020 to the first nine days of 2021, the director-general highlighted the gravity of how the pandemic has already taken 542 lives in less than a year.
Responding to netizens on his Facebook post, DG Dr Noor Hisham said, “In [the] first nine months last year, we [had] less than 100 fatalities. This year, in only nine days, we already have 71 deaths,” before expressing, ” I fear the worst is yet to come.”
Last week, during the daily Covid-19 press briefing, The Ministry of Health (MOH) warned that if stricter measures were not put into place, Malaysia could very well see cases reach up to 8,000 daily by mid-March if the infectivity rate, R-naught (R0) goes up. Informing the general public on his Facebook account, Dr Noor Hisham posted two Susceptible-Exposed-Infective-Recovered (SEIR) epidemiological prediction graphs showing the possible number of daily cases if the R0 remains at 1.1 or increases to 1.2.
The graph also shows, with the country’s current R0 at 1.1, the number of daily cases should have only breached the 3,000 mark by the second week of February, but we saw a record high of 3,027 cases on January 7, 2021, reflecting a notably higher infectivity rate should cases remain on the rise.
Just 24 hours after the highest record of cases was announced, the country recorded 16 more deaths – the highest daily tally since November 3, 2020, a date which saw 12 deaths.
Dr Hisham also shared sombre photos of frontliners in full PPE gear attending to the deceased in body bags to raise more awareness on the seriousness of the situation, especially with Covid-19 related deaths on the rise since the new year began.
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