Malaysia Ranks Near Bottom In Covid-19 Recovery Index

Malaysia ranked 115 of 121 countries in Nikkei’s Covid-19 Recovery Index for August, higher than Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 7 — Malaysia nearly came in last in Nikkei’s Covid-19 Recovery Index, ranking at 115 of 121 countries evaluated on their management of the coronavirus pandemic, vaccine rollouts, and social mobility.

The August 31 edition of the ranking by the Japanese business media outfit issued at the end of each month gave Malaysia a score of 34 out of 90, with a higher score denoting better performance.

A higher ranking indicates that a country is closer to recovery based on low Covid-19 case numbers, higher coronavirus vaccination rates, and less stringent social distancing measures.

Southeast Asian neighbours that ranked lower than Malaysia were Thailand (118), Myanmar (119), and the Philippines (120), while Vietnam came in last at the 121st rank.

Nikkei’s Covid-19 Recovery Index tracks three main indicators:

Infection management

  • Confirmed cases of Covid-19 versus peak case count;
  • Confirmed cases per capita;
  • Tests per case.

Vaccine rollout

  • Total vaccine doses given per capita;
  • New vaccine doses given per capita;
  • Share of people who have received at least one dose.


  • Community mobility;
  • Oxford stringency index;
  • Flight activities.

Although Malaysia’s daily new Covid-19 cases have declined in the past couple of weeks, nearly 20,000 infections are still being recorded daily on average. Today, the Ministry of Health reported 18,547 new Covid-19 cases.

In the week of August 22 to 28, Malaysia recorded a national test positive rate of 14.2 per cent, with five states (Sabah, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis, and Selangor) exceeding the national rate. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a maximum 5 per cent positive rate as an indicator of sufficient testing.

Malaysia ranked 10th highest globally on daily new Covid-19 cases per capita on September 6, according to data tracker Our World In Data, logging about 596.4 infections per million population that day.

However, Malaysia’s Covid-19 vaccine coverage is third highest in Asean, with 63 per cent of Malaysia’s total population receiving at least one vaccine dose as of September 5, behind Cambodia (66 per cent) and Singapore (78 per cent).

Malaysia has also vaccinated a slightly bigger share of its population than the United States that has inoculated 62 per cent of its total population with at least one dose.

Malaysia has yet to lift movement restrictions like interstate travel, although more social activities like dine-ins have been opened up in the Klang Valley and other states.

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