Malaysia Covid-19 Cases Drop Amid Reduced Testing

By Nicole Chek |

Selangor reported the highest positive rate (10%) in Epid Week 22 (May 30-June 5); only Putrajaya, Pahang, Sabah, and Perlis recorded positive rates below 5% that week.

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — Covid-19 cases in Malaysia declined slightly by 2.6 per cent in the past week from the previous week, amid a 7.7 per cent drop in testing.

In the 22nd epidemiological week of the year (May 30 to June 5), the Ministry of Health (MOH) reported 52,040 positive cases among 715,223 individuals tested nationwide, lower than the 53,419 infections detected among the 774,973 people tested the previous week from May 23 to 29.

Consequently, the national positive rate rose from 6.89 per cent in the 21st epidemiological week (May 23 to 29) to 7.28 per cent last week from May 30 to June 5, possibly attributed to the drop in testing. 

This means that in the past week, about seven out of 100 people screened in Malaysia tested positive for Covid-19. One of the indicators of sufficient testing — according to the World Health Organization (WHO) — is a positive rate below 5 per cent. 

In other words, the apparent decline in coronavirus infections the past week — amid reduced testing and increased positive rate — may not reflect the actual epidemic as Malaysia could have more undetected Covid-19 positive individuals.

In the week of May 30 to June 5, Selangor reported a 10.06 per cent positive rate, making it the state with the highest positive rate in the country.

Kuala Lumpur (7.44 per cent), Kelantan (8.90 per cent), Negeri Sembilan (9.63 per cent), Labuan (9.74 per cent), and Selangor (10.06 per cent) exceeded the 7.28 per cent national positive rate in Malaysia. 

Putrajaya, Pahang, Sabah, and Perlis were the only states and federal territories that reported positive rates below 5 per cent.

From the 21st to 22nd epidemiological week, the Covid-19 positive rate increased in five states and federal territories, whereas 11 other states showed a decrease in the positive state.

Out of all the states and territories, Putrajaya had the greatest decline in its positive rate by 4.22 percentage points (from 8.61 to 4.39 per cent). Selangor reported the greatest increase in its positive rate by 2.08 percentage points (7.99 to 10.06 per cent).

The states and federal territories that recorded an increase in positive rates in the 22nd  epidemiological week compared to the 21st epidemiological week were: 

  • Selangor (7.99 to 10.06 per cent)
  • Labuan (8.78 to 9.74 per cent)
  • Kuala Lumpur (5.72 to 7.44 per cent)
  • Perak (4.78 to 6.09 per cent) 
  • Sabah (3.83 to 4.10 per cent)

The states and federal territories that showed a decline in positive rates in the 22nd epidemiological week compared to the 21st epidemiological week were: 

  • Johor (5.79 to 5.61 per cent)
  • Kedah (7.70 to 7.07 per cent)
  • Kelantan (11.84 to 8.90 per cent)
  • Melaka (7.95 to 7.28 per cent)
  • N. Sembilan (10.03 to 9.63 per cent)
  • Pahang (5.44 to 4.37 per cent)
  • Penang (5.66 to 5.39 per cent)
  • Perlis (3.79 to 3.24 per cent)
  • Putrajaya (8.61 to 4.39 per cent)
  • Sarawak (5.79 to 5.37 per cent)
  • Terengganu (5.80 to 5.45 per cent)

Compared to the 21st epidemiological week of May 23 to 29, testing rates decreased last week in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaka, Penang, Perak, Perlis, Selangor, and Terengganu.

On the other hand, Labuan, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Putrajaya, and Sarawak ramped up testing for Covid-19 in the 22nd epidemiological week from May 30 to June 5. 

Out of all states, Selangor, despite recording the highest number of new Covid-19 cases the past two weeks, saw testing by federal authorities reduced the most from 212,197 people tested in the 21st epidemiological week to 175,169 people tested in the 22nd epidemiological week.

This marked a reduction of 37,028 people tested, or a 17.4 per cent decline. 

However, the true testing number in Selangor might not be reflected here as the Selangor state government is also conducting Covid-19 testing separately from the federal MOH. 

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