KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 – Despite a 28-day total lockdown, reported Covid-19 cases nationwide have not substantially dropped, averaging at more than 5,300 daily infections last week with a 7.4 per cent positive rate that indicates undetected cases.
The national Covid-19 case decline has even slowed over the weeks, dropping only by an average daily 388 infections to 5,559 cases a day in the 24th epidemiological week (June 13-19), before reducing by an average 224 daily infections to 5,335 cases a day in the 25th epidemiological week (June 20-26).
Worse, Covid-19 fatalities nationwide increased from an average 72 deaths a day in the week of June 13-19 to 77 fatalities daily in the past week from June 20-26.
Disturbingly, Covid-19 cases in several states — Pahang, Melaka, Perak, and Negeri Sembilan — increased in the past week of June 20-26 from the previous week. Coronavirus infections in Negeri Sembilan, notably, have been steadily rising every week for the past three weeks.
Selangor’s coronavirus case trend — the highest in the country — was inconsistent, rising from an average 1,860 daily infections in the 23rd epidemiological week (June 6-12) to an average 1,924 daily cases the next week (June 13-19), before declining to 1,851 infections a day the past week (June 20-26).
Covid-19 cases in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, on the other hand, have been steadily declining during the Full Movement Control Order (FMCO) from an average 693 daily infections in the 22nd epidemiological week (May 30-June 5) to 544 daily cases in the 25th epidemiological week (June 20-26).
In the 25th epidemiological week of June 20-26, a total of 506,178 individuals nationwide were tested for Covid-19 with 37,437 of them tested positive, giving a positive rate of 7.37 per cent.
Last week’s positive rate increased by 0.44 percentage points from 6.93 per cent in epidemiological week 24.
Notably, the 506,178 tests run last week marked a reduction of 54,978 tests compared to the previous week of June 13-19 when 561,156 people were sampled.
Throughout the lockdown — instead of increasing testing to detect and isolate cases early to prevent spread of the virus — the government has consistently reduced testing every week from 715,223 people tested in the week of May 30-June 5 (average 102,175 daily tests) to 506,178 tests in the week of June 20-26 (average 72,311 daily tests).
Amid reduced testing, national Covid-19 cases also dropped — albeit at a much slower rate of decline the past two weeks. The national positive rate, however, increased the past fortnight from 6.61 per cent in the 23rd epidemiological week (June 6-12) to 7.37 per cent in the 25th epidemiological week (June 20-26).
Malaysia has been under a full Movement Control Order (MCO) since June 1, with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin saying Sunday that the lockdown would be extended indefinitely until average daily Covid-19 cases fall below 4,000.