PUTRAJAYA: As April reaches its midpoint, the Health Ministry says Malaysia has been doing better than predicted in managing the Covid-19 pandemic.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the country’s current tally of 4,817 Covid-19 cases is a lot less than many expert projections.
“JP Morgan had predicted that by April 14, which is tomorrow, Malaysia would have 6,300 Covid-19 cases. But today, we have 4,817 cases. By tomorrow, we might have less than 5,000 cases.
“We are certainly doing much better than predicted, ” he said at the ministry’s daily Covid-19 press conference here on Monday (April 13).
Dr Noor Hisham said Malaysia’s ability to reduce the number of infections in the country was down to the effectiveness of its movement control order (MCO), which has been in place since March 18.
“This shows that the first and second phase of the MCO is working and showing signs that we have successfully contained the spread of Covid-19.
“However, we have not managed to bring down further the number of cases, so this third phase of the MCO is important.
“We want to end the spread of Covid-19 in this country and this requires the work of not just the ministry, but all of us, together, ” said Dr Noor Hisham.
On whether the ministry is doing enough testing, Dr Noor Hisham said its experience at extended MCO areas showed that only 0.5% are found positive when active case detection is conducted.
“We have screened 83,488 people in the country, and only 4,817 are found to be positive. This translates to 5.8%, and it is well below the World Health Organisation’s projection of 10%.
“But at enhanced MCO areas, we screen everybody, whether or not they are symptomatic, or from high-risk groups.
“And we found that from screening every single person, we are only able to detect 0.5% positive cases.
“So if we test only targeted high-risk groups, we will get a better outcome using the limited resources that we have, rather than conduct mass testing on every single person, ” said Dr Noor Hisham.