KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 8 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) today listed three main indicators to transition into the endemic Covid-19 phase of living with the virus as a persistent disease.
The three indicators are a seven-day average daily incidence rate of below 3.6 cases per 100,000 residents. This is equivalent to less than 1,177 daily new infections in the 32.7 million population.
According to the CovidNow website, Malaysia currently averages at 4,952 daily Covid-19 cases, more than quadruple the target for transitioning to endemicity. The incidence rate over the past two weeks was 230 cases per 100,000 people, or 16.4 cases per 100,000 population per day.
The second target, as listed by Deputy Health Minister Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali in a written parliament reply today, is a seven-day average Covid-19 case fatality rate of 0.8 per cent or below.
Malaysia’s current case fatality rate is 0.9 per cent, according to CovidNow.
The third indicator is a seven-day average daily hospital admission rate for Covid-19 patients in Category Three, Four or Five at below one per 100,000 population.
CovidNow does not specifically track hospitalisation rates for severe Covid-19 cases. The nationwide seven-day average Covid-19 hospital admission rate currently stands at 1,152 admissions a day, or 3.5 admissions per 100,000 people.
Dr Noor Azmi, when replying to Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii during Question Time at the Dewan Rakyat today, said MOH monitors seven indicators overall related to the Covid-19 situation and the capacity for the public health response, before deciding on transition to the endemic phase.
Indicators related to the public health response include bed occupancy rates in hospital and the intensive care unit (ICU), the positive rate, and the percentage of health care workers infected with Covid-19.
Other indicators related to the Covid-19 situation include the percentage of Covid-19 cases aged 60 years and above with comorbidities, Covid-19 vaccination, and the Covid-19 positive rate from surveillance of influenza-like illnesses, severe acute respiratory infections, pre-operation, and pre-admission.
“However, the calculation for all these parameters are for use of MOH since they’re too technical,” Dr Noor Azmi said in a written reply.
CodeBlue previously reported that MOH targets a bed occupancy rate for non-critical cases at below 30 per cent, as well as an ICU bed occupancy rate of below 20 per cent, according to MOH’s presentation at a September 28 meeting with the health, science and innovation parliament special select committee chaired by Dr Yii.
At the meeting, MOH also stated a target positive rate of below 5 per cent. According to CovidNow, Malaysia’s positive rate currently stands at 4.7 per cent.
MOH had also targeted a vaccination rate of more than 80 per cent of the total population. As of yesterday, about 75 per cent of Malaysia’s total population is fully inoculated against Covid-19.
“When the country inevitably moves to the endemic phase, cases will still occur daily and may increase. Therefore, the current transition is very important as preparation to ensure that the number of cases that require hospitalisation and deaths caused by Covid-19 are more controlled,” said Dr Noor Azmi in Parliament.
He noted that under the National Recovery Plan, all states and federal territories are now in Phase Four with the least movement restrictions, while only Sarawak and Kelantan are still in Phase Three.