KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 – Malaysia’s Covid-19 epidemic took a turn for the worse this week, as cases nationwide rose for the first time, by almost 19 per cent, after about three consecutive weeks of decline.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) reported 6,988 Covid-19 cases yesterday, despite the country being on total lockdown, or full Movement Control Order (FMCO), since June 1. The July 1 tally was the highest number of daily cases logged since June 6.
This week itself, Malaysia recorded a five-day average of 6,101 Covid-19 daily cases from June 27 to July 1, an 18.5 per cent increase from the five-day average of 5,146 cases a day the previous week (June 20-24).
The five-day average of 6,101 daily coronavirus infections this week exceeded the 5,798 five-day average three weeks ago in the 23rd epidemiological week from June 6 to 10.
Worryingly, more states and federal territories observed a rise in Covid-19 cases from last week, with Kuala Lumpur having the highest percentage of increase.
From June 20-24, Kuala Lumpur recorded a total of 2,407 coronavirus cases. In the same five-day period this week (June 27 to July 1), the capital city’s total Covid-19 cases reached 4,071, a 69.1 per cent increase.
The other states that recorded an increase in Covid-19 cases between the 25th and 26th epidemiological weeks were Selangor (41 per cent), Melaka (37.4 per cent), Pahang (32.9 per cent), Sabah (28.8 per cent), Perak (19.3 per cent), Putrajaya (16.1 per cent), Kedah (13.5 per cent), Perlis (10 per cent), and Terengganu (5.7 per cent).
On the other hand, six states saw a drop in Covid-19 cases when comparing five-day periods last week and this week: Negeri Sembilan (0.2 per cent), Penang (2.1 per cent), Labuan (16.2 per cent), Kelantan (17.6 per cent), Johor (22.8 per cent), Sarawak (30.7 per cent).
Authorities are placing a two-week Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) on most of the state of Selangor with a 6.5 million population, except the district of Sabak Bernam, from July 3 to 16, even though the four-week nationwide FMCO failed to significantly reduce infections, with the national case trend now going upwards.
Although authorities claim they will engage in mass testing of EMCO areas, but it is unlikely that they can test millions of residents in Selangor in two weeks, given that only slightly more than one million people were tested across the entire country in the past two weeks from June 13-26. In the 24th epidemiological week (June 13-19), only 132,467 people were tested in Selangor. (State testing data was not made available by MOH for the 25th week).