This is a round-up of COVID-19 related matters in Malaysia and globally from Aug 7 up to noon today. In Malaysia, case overloads have exceeded 1.3 million, and globally, the virus has infected more than 206 million people and caused over 4.3 million deaths. To date, over 185 million people have recovered from the virus. More than 216 countries and territories are affected by the pandemic.
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 – Malaysia’s COVID-19 cases hit a new high with 21,668 cases as of noon yesterday.
Of the total, only 2.1 percent, or 440 of the new 21,668 cases are in categories 5, 4, and 3. Of the total new infections, 21,228 or 97.9 percent are in categories 2 (mild symptoms) and 1 (asymptomatic).
According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), category 5 patients fall into the critical stage requiring ventilator support; category 4 is for patients who need oxygen to battle pneumonia while category 3 denotes cases with pneumonia.
In a posting on his Facebook account yesterday, Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah said that from the 21,668 daily cases reported yesterday, 192 cases (0.9 percent) were in category 5 and 84 cases (0.4 percent) in category 4. There were 164 cases (0.8 percent) in category 3 while 11,059 cases (51 percent) in category 2 and 10,169 cases (46.9 percent) in category 1.
He said this is based on the current clinical condition of the newly diagnosed COVID-19 cases.
He said, some of the cases remained in the same category throughout the period of infection and however some has changed the health status of the cases either improving to a lower category or declining to a higher category.
The latest daily new infections reported yesterday were the highest since the first three cases were detected in the country on Jan 25, 2020. The daily COVID-19 cases surpassed the 20,000 mark on Aug 5 (20,596 cases), Aug 6 with 20,889 cases and Aug 11 with 20,780 cases. Yesterday’s record of 21,668 COVID-19 infections raised total cases to 1,342,215.
As of yesterday, another 318 fatalities due to COVID-19 were recorded, bringing the death toll to 11,691 (0.87 percent of total cases).
The daily breakdown of new cases reported during the week under review (Aug 7 to Aug 12) is as follows:
Aug 7 (19,257), Aug 8 (18,688), Aug 9 (17,236), Aug 10 (19,991), Aug 11 (20,780) and Aug 12 (21,668).
As of yesterday, there were 1,281 active clusters nationwide. So far, Malaysia has recorded a total of 4,079 clusters, out of which 2,798 have ended.
Based on the Ministry of Health’s daily COVID-19 reports, a total of 216 new clusters has emerged this week, with most of them linked to the workplace and community. A total of 120 (55.5 percent) were workplace clusters while 73 clusters (34.0 percent) were community clusters.
As of yesterday, 1,059 COVID-19 cases were being treated in the intensive care unit (ICU), with 543 requiring respiratory assistance.
With Malaysia’s 1,342,215 total cases, it now stood at the 27th spot in the list of 216 nations struck by the COVID-19 pandemic. Just ahead of Malaysia are Bangladesh (1,386,654 cases) and Canada (1,445,303 cases).
OTHER DEVELOPMENTS IN THE NATION
On Aug 8, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the easing of restrictions for individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in states that have moved into Phase 2 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) and beyond starting Aug 10.
To be considered fully vaccinated, residents in Malaysia must be individuals who have taken the Pfizer, AstraZeneca, or Sinovac vaccines, which require two doses, must have passed 14 days from the date of their second vaccination.
Individuals who have taken the Johnson & Johnson or CanSino vaccines, which require one dose, must have passed 28 days from the date of their vaccination.
Malaysian travelers and non-citizens with homes in Malaysia (including permanent residents and Malaysia My Second Home participants) who are fully vaccinated are allowed to undergo home quarantine on their return to the country and will be given a digital Home Surveillance Order.
Among the restrictions being lifted include dine-ins, inter-district travel, sports, and recreational activities without physical contact as well as tourism activities within the state involving homestays and hotels.
Meanwhile, MOH in a statement said, of the 21,668 new daily cases reported yesterday, seven states recorded four-digit cases, six states three-digit cases, and three other states with two-digit cases.
The state-by-state breakdown of new cases reported yesterday is as follows:
Four-digit new daily cases – Selangor 6,278, Kuala Lumpur 2,436, Kedah 2,143, Sabah 2,052, Johor 1,706, Penang, 1,229 and Sarawak 1,216.
Three-digit new daily cases – Kelantan 972, Perak 930, Negeri Sembilan 899, Pahang 629, Terengganu 594 and Melaka 494.
Two-digit new daily cases – Putrajaya 56, Perlis 23 and Labuan 11.
The daily COVID-19 infectivity rate or R0/Rt value from Aug 7 to Aug 12, according to Dr Noor Hisham’s Facebook posting, is as follows:
Aug 7: (1.08), Aug 8 (1.07), Aug 9 (1.06), Aug 10 (1.07),Aug 11 (1.06) and Aug 12 (1.05).
The states that recorded the highest infectivity rate or R-naught (R0/Rt) values on Aug 11 were Perlis 1.33, Kelantan 1.20 and Sabah 1.20.
The MOH is targeting a R naught value or infectivity rate of below 0.5 through public health activities in preventing and controlling the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic.
MALAYSIA’S COVID-19 SCENARIO (JULY 31-AUG 5)
Following is the daily breakdown of recovered cases:
Aug 7 (16,323), Aug 8 (17,055), Aug 9 (15,187), Aug 10 (16,258), Aug 11 (17,973) and Aug 12 (17,687).
Recovered cases as at Aug 12 – 1,093,503 (81.5 percent).
Following is the daily breakdown of new cases, local transmissions, and imported cases:
Aug 7 – new cases of 19,257 (1,243,852 cumulative); local transmissions 19,241 (15,893 or 82.6 percent Malaysian citizens); imported 16 (10 Malaysians (82.6 percent); 3,348 non-citizens (17.4 percent)]; imported : 16 cases (10 citizens, 6 non citizens);
Aug 8 – 18,688 cases (1,262,540 cumulative); local transmissions 18,678 cases [15,755 citizens (84.4 percent); 2,923 non-citizens (15.6%)]; imported : 10 cases (5 citizens, 5 non-citizens);
Aug 9 – 17,236 cases (1,279,776 cumulative cases); local transmissions : 17,207 [14,437 citizens (83.9%); 2,770 non-citizens (16.1 percent]; imported: 29 cases (17 citizens, 12 non-citizens);
Aug 10 – 19,991 cases (1,299,767 cumulative cases); local transmissions 19,991cases [16,563 citizens (82.9 percent); 3,428 non-citizens (17.1 percent)]; Imported cases : Nil.
Aug 11 – 20,780 cases (1,320,547cumulative); local transmissions: 20,765 cases [17,383 citizens (83.7 percent); 3,382 non-citizens (16.3 percent); Imported cases : 15 cases (5 citizens, 10 non-citizens).
Aug 12 – 21,668 cases (1,342,215cumulative); local transmissiion: 21,610 cases [18,332 citizens (84.8 percent); 3,278 non-citizens (15.2 percent]; Imported cases : 58 cases (20 citizens, 38 non-citizens)
The daily breakdown in fatalities is as follows:
Aug 7 – 21,668 (1,342,215 cumulative cases); local transmissions: 21,610 cases (18,332 citizens (84.8 percent) non citizens (15.2 percent); imported: 58 cases (20 citizens, 38 non-citizens.
Aug 8 – 360 cases [10,749 cumulative cases, 0.85 percent; 296 citizens, 64 non-citizens; BID 85 cases (56 citizens; 29 non-citizens);
Aug 9 – 212 cases [10,961 cumulative cases, 0.86 percent; 186 citizens, 26 non-citizens; BID 16 cases(14 citizens; 2 non-citizens);
Aug 10 – 201 cases [11,162 cumulative cases, 0.86 percent; 163 citizens, 38 non-citizens; BID 34 cases (13 citizens; 21 non-citizens);
Aug 11 – 211cases [11,373 cumulative cases, 0.86 percent; 184 citizens, 27 non-citizens; BID 16 cases (10 citizens; 6 non-citizens);
Aug 12 – 318 cases [11,691 cumulative cases, 0.87 percent; 256 citizens, 62 non-citizens; BID 93 cases (57citizens; 36 non-citizens).
The BID cases refer to deaths that occurred outside healthcare facilities, with the bodies testing positive for COVID-19 after RT-PCR tests were carried out.
Following is the daily breakdown of new clusters reported:
Aug 7 – 36 new clusters, 9 from Kelantan (18 workplaces, 15 communities, one detention center, one education, one religious).
*workplace cluster, Kundang Sepertiga (Gombak, Selangor) – 148 cases
Aug 8 – 39 new clusters, 7 from Kelantan (18 workplaces, 15 community, two high-risk, one religious and education);
*workplace cluster, Bukit Tengah 2 (Terengganu) – 126 cases.
Aug 9 – 36 new clusters,10 each from Kelantan and Johor (19 workplaces, 13 community, two detention centers, one high-risk cluster, and 1 religious);
*detention centre cluster, Tembok Bukit Mertajam 2 (Penang) – 114 cases.
Aug 10 – 29 new clusters, 6 each from Kelantan and Selangor (workplace 17, community 8, religious one and high-risk 3);
*workplace cluster, Tapak Bina Bukit OUG (Lembah Pantai & Cheras) – 113 cases.
Aug 11 – 31 new clusters, 9 from Kelantan (workplace cluster 18, community 11 and high-risk two).
*workplace cluster, Tapak Bina Jalan Anggun (Johor Bahru) – 218 cases.
*workplace cluster Industri Solar Valley (Alor Gajah, Melaka Tengah, Jasin) – 138 cases.
Aug 12 – 45 new clusters (workplace cluster 30, community 11, high risk 2 and education 2);
*workplace cluster, Tapak Bina Jalan Panglima Hitam (Klang, Selangor) – 122 cases.
GLOBAL COVID-19 STATISTICS
The total number of COVID-19 cases worldwide, according to Worldometer, at the time of writing this article stood at 206,231,902 cases from 201,877,094 cases the previous week and deaths at 4,347,967 as against 4,284,424 previously. The total number of recoveries stood at 185.077,823 compared to 181,607,067 cases the previous week.
Some 216 countries are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and those in the top 10 of the list are the United States, India, Brazil, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Argentina, Colombia and Spain.
The breakdown is as follows: United States 37,203,649 cases (636,298 deaths); India 32,177,052 cases (430,285 deaths);
Brazil 20,285,067 cases (566,988 deaths); Russia 6,534,791 cases(168,049 deaths); France 6,398,983 cases (112,487 deaths); United Kingdom 6,179,506 cases (130,701 deaths); Turkey 6,018,485 cases (52,703 deaths); Argentina 5,066,253 cases (108,569 deaths); Colombia 4,856,595 cases (123,097 deaths); and Spain 4,677,883 cases (82,407 deaths).
China, where the outbreak was first reported at end-December 2019, is now at the 107th spot in the list of countries affected by COVID-19 with 94,260 cases while its death toll remained at 4,636.
Besides Malaysia, the five other Southeast Asian nations that have joined the list of 105 countries with more than 100,000 cases are Indonesia (14th spot) with 3,774,155 cases and 113,664 deaths), the Philippines (22nd spot) with 1,700,363 cases and 29,539 deaths. Thailand (35th spot) with 863,189 cases and 12,667 deaths, Myanmar (66th spot) with 344.730 cases and 12,667 deaths; Vietnam (80th spot) with 246,568 cases and 4,813 deaths; Cambodia (109th spot) with 83,839 cases and 1,634 deaths); Singapore (115th spot) with 66,012 cases and 43 deaths, Laos (165th spot) with 9,363 cases and 9 deaths and Brunei (203rd spot) with 543 cases and 3 deaths.
The World Health Organisation’s China country office was informed of cases of pneumonia that were detected in Wuhan on Dec 31, 2019. On Jan 7, the Chinese authorities confirmed that the newly detected novel coronavirus can be transmitted from human to human.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-COV).
A study of the virus’ genetic sequence suggested similarities to that seen in snakes and bats. China health officials identified the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan as the source of the transmission of the coronavirus.
On Feb 11, 2020, WHO announced the official name of the virus, COVID-19, which is an acronym for coronavirus 2019 – CO stands for corona, VI for virus and D for disease.
On Jan 30, 2020, WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak as a global emergency and on March 11, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.
WHO has described the COVID-19 outbreak as much more dangerous than the A H1N1 Influenza, also known as Swine Flu.
Swine Flu, which occurred between January 2009 and August 2010, infected more than 1.6 million people and caused 18,449 fatalities. It was first detected in Mexico and later in the United States in March 2009.
COVID-19 was detected in Malaysia on Jan 25, 2020, when three Chinese citizens, who had entered Malaysia through Johore from Singapore on Jan 23, were tested positive for the disease.
New variants of the COVID-19 coronavirus have since emerged in the United Kingdom (identified as B117) in September 2020, South Africa (501Y.V2) in October 2020, and India (B.1.617), also in October last year.