As we enter three full weeks of total lockdown in Malaysia, we are seeing positive results with regard to the number of Covid-19 cases.
Firstly, let’s take a look at Covid-19 cases in Penang from June 4 to 21. There was a total of 3,395 cases for this 18-day period, out of which 1,581 were from clusters, while 1,814 were unlinked or sporadic cases.
This translates into a 53.4 per cent decrease in sporadic cases, down from 68.5 per cent for the period between May 10 and June 3.
On the flip side, there was an increase in the cluster percentage; from 31.5 per cent (May 10 to June 3) to 46.6 per cent (June 4 to 21).
What this means is that the Ministry of Health has identified more cases and which clusters they belong to.
From the cluster cases, the majority were from workplaces, particularly factories. In Penang, these cases made up 74.8 per cent of new cases, for the period between June 4 to 21, down from the previous 76.2 per cent between May 10 and June 3.
We must now keep track of community cases in Penang, for example, cases among stall owners at markets. We have had three confirmed cases originating in markets since May; namely Jelutong Market, Bukit Mertajam Market and Perak Road Market.
The Penang Island City Council and the Seberang Perai City Council should be commended for taking quick steps to close those premises, sanitise the premises, and test the remaining traders.
All this will allay the fears of customers, and will rebuild confidence when the markets reopen.
On another note, screenings also yielded symptomatic cases within two areas, namely the Rifle Range Flats and also Jalan Veterinari.
The most telling trend is the downward trend involving close contacts and workplaces. This coincide with the daily drop in cases in Penang, from a high of more than 300 in mid-May (even hitting a record 421 on May 28) to around 200, 100, and for the first time on June 21, below 100.
We must conclude that the total lockdown is working. However, we must continue to mask up, maintain social distancing, and wash our hands constantly.
Traders and business owners must also ensure that there is adequate ventilation in their places of business. Also, let’s not forget about vaccination.
All this will contribute towards recovery efforts in Malaysia.
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.