KUALA LUMPUR, August 24 — Covid-19 did not cause any deaths in Malaysia in one month during Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) administration after the first case was detected in January, Dzulkefly Ahmad said today.
The former health minister said by the time he left the Ministry of Health (MOH) on February 24 — just before Perikatan Nasional (PN) wrested federal power officially on March 1 — Malaysia only reported 24 official Covid-19 cases, including 22 people who had already recovered from coronavirus, with the remaining two in hospital. The two were not in intensive care or on ventilator support. Malaysia only recorded its first official Covid-19 case on January 24.
“There were no fatalities until we left Putrajaya,” Dzulkefly told a press conference in Parliament.
Minister of International Trade and Industry Mohamed Azmin Ali said on the campaign trail in Slim, Perak, that more Malaysians would have died from coronavirus if PH were still in power.
Malaysia has a low 1.35 per cent case fatality rate for Covid-19, recording 125 deaths out of 9,267 Covid-19 cases as of August 23, according to Deputy Health Minister Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali.
Dzulkefly, who is Kuala Selangor MP, added that Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has said the PH government handled the pandemic well with early preparations, until the UDA and Sri Petaling clusters broke out.
The Sri Petaling cluster, which accounted for the largest share of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Malaysia at 3,375 infections, occurred after some 16,000 people, including visitors from foreign countries, gathered at a mosque in Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, for a tabligh event from February 27 to March 1. Muhyiddin Yassin was sworn in as prime minister on March 1, following a week of political intrigue.
Police did not cancel the mass religious gathering despite the global coronavirus outbreak.