KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 — Four million residents in the Klang Valley, or two-thirds of the region’s population, might have been infected with Covid-19 if a Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) was not imposed, health authorities claimed today.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) projection was based on an infectivity rate, or R0, of 2.2. An R0 of 2.2 means each Covid-19 case on average leads to another 2.2 new infections.
Dr Noor Hisham only revealed this projection today, more than two months after the CMCO was first implemented in the Klang Valley on October 14.
Back on October 12, he said MOH had advised the government to implement a CMCO in Malaysia’s economic centre to prevent yellow zones from turning red, even as the Klang Valley back then was reporting fewer than 100 Covid-19 cases a day.
Based on MOH’s Covid-19 case modeling, in the week before October 12, the trend of daily Covid-19 cases (average 468 a day nationwide) still fell below an R0 of 0.95. The highest projected R0 value in MOH’s model was 1.50.
“If we look back when Covid happened in Sabah, we predicted that in the Klang Valley, cases would rise. At that time, we predicted the R0 was high in the Klang Valley, and our action was proactive, which was to do a targeted CMCO on October 14,” Dr Noor Hisham told a press conference today on Malaysia’s Covid-19 cases.
“If we didn’t do the CMCO, our projection was maybe we’d get four million residents who would be infected. We used an R0, or infectivity rate, of 2.2. But with the CMCO, we reduced the R0 to 0.97 as of now. So our objective is to reduce it further to 0.5 or 0.4.”
He added that movement restrictions were imposed in the Klang Valley two months ago because of high population density, people’s movements, and a concentration of migrant workers. The Klang Valley has an estimated six million residents.
Dr Noor Hisham said the Covid-19 situation in Sarawak has been improving, with a state R0 of 0.4.
“If it reduces to 0.4, then we can flatten the curve.”
National Covid-19 Highlights
MOH reported today 2,018 new Covid-19 cases, the third-highest 24-hour tally, pushing the country’s cumulative infections to 95,327.
Total active cases number at 16,496. Out of the 2,018 new infections reported today, seven were imported, while 2,011 were local transmissions.
Selangor reported the highest number of new Covid-19 cases in the country at 1,204 infections (59.7 per cent), followed by Johor with 278 cases (13.8 per cent), and Sabah with 247 cases (12.2 per cent).
A total of 109 Covid-19 patients are being treated in intensive care, including 55 on ventilator support.
One new fatality from Covid-19 was reported today, a 50-year-old foreign man in Sabah, pushing Malaysia’s overall coronavirus death toll to 438 fatalities (0.46 per cent of total cases reported).
Eight new Covid-19 clusters were reported today, pushing the active clusters to 201.
The state breakdown of today’s new 2,018 Covid-19 cases is as follows:
- Selangor: 1,204 cases
- Johor: 278 cases
- Sabah: 247 cases
- Kuala Lumpur: 127 cases
- Negeri Sembilan: 58 cases
- Labuan: 29 cases
- Perak: 21 cases
- Penang: 18 cases
- Pahang: 12 cases
- Melaka: 9 cases
- Kelantan: 6 cases
- Putrajaya: 5 cases
- Kedah: 3 cases
- Terengganu: 1 case