KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 – Covid-19 cases among children and teenagers dropped by a whopping 70 per cent after the Movement Control Order (MCO) was lifted on October 11 under the National Recovery Plan.
According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), Malaysia reported 76,398 new Covid-19 cases among those aged below 18 years in 64 days (October 11 to December 13) after the MCO was lifted, 178,167 fewer infections compared to 254,565 new coronavirus cases in the same age groups in 64 days (August 8 to October 10) during the MCO period.
In the same period of time, Covid-19 cases among children aged four and below dropped about 59.8 per cent from 65,020 cases to 26,145.
Cases among children aged between five and six showed a decline after MCO. A total of 27,770 cases were reported among this group from August 8 to October 10, before declining 61.6 per cent to 10,675 cases from October 11 to December 13.
In that period of time, Covid-19 cases dropped 69.7 per cent from 90,150 to 27,345 infections among children aged between seven and 12, whereas cases among adolescents aged from 13 to 17 saw an 82.9 per cent decrease from 71,625 to 12,233.
“The decrease in cases among children is related to the achievement of high immunisation coverage among adolescents aged 12 years and above,” Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin mentioned in a written Dewan Negara reply on December 14.
The 13-17 age group did show the biggest percentage decline in Covid-19 infections at 82.9 per cent compared to other age groups, although the largest absolute decrease was reported in the 7-12 age group with a drop of 62,805 cases.
Senator Paul Igai had asked MOH to state the rate of Covid-19 infection among children after the country entered Phase Four of NRP and ended the nationwide MCO.
MOH’s own statistics and admission that the decline in coronavirus cases was linked to high vaccination rates disprove the ministry’s previous argument that harsher criminal penalties imposed during the Emergency Ordinance were effective in controlling the epidemic.
As of yesterday, 87 per cent or 2,738,450 adolescents aged between 12 and 17 have been fully inoculated in the country, whereas 90.1 per cent have received at least the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine.
Another 311,562 or 9.9 per cent of adolescents have yet to receive the vaccine as of yesterday, according to the CovidNow database.