KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 6 — The number of new COVID-19 cases with serious symptoms will be used as a new indicator for the transition into phases three and four of the National Recovery Plan (PPN), says PPN Coordinating Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.
He said this would replace the COVID-19 new cases indicator, using as proxy new hospital admission cases for COVID-19 adapted for categories three, four and five.
Having reached a vaccination rate of 40 per cent among the adult population, he said the number of new COVID-19 cases had become less relevant, as most cases were asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic (categories one and two), effectively reducing the burden on the public health infrastructure.
“However, the vaccination rate, as well as the intensive care unit (ICU) utilisation rate indicators are still maintained,” he said in the 64th Report of the National Economic Implementation and Strategic Coordination Agency (LAKSANA).
Zafrul, who is also the Finance Minister, said based on researched data and science, a high vaccination rate of the population helped reduce the number of serious symptomatic cases
He said this trend was not only observed overseas but in Sarawak and Labuan as well.
In line with the updated key indicator to transition from Phase Two to Phase Three of the PPN, he said Perlis, Sarawak and Labuan had met set threshold value, and therefore, successfully moved to the third phase.
“Perlis has already met all the previous threshold values to move to Phase Three, while Sarawak has already achieved a vaccination rate of 63.7 per cent of the adult population, surpassing the threshold value for Phase Four for the indicator, which is 60 per cent.
“Although the number of COVID-19 cases in Sarawak is more than 300 a day, but the number of cases per day identified in categories 3, 4 and 5 is less than 10 cases, or two per cent of the cases reported,” he said.
According to Zafrul, the situation in Labuan is recognised as a resounding success, as not long ago, Labuan experienced a dire situation with uncontrolled transmission rates, but with rapid and widespread vaccination efforts, new COVID-19 cases, as well as ICU admissions, had dropped significantly