Health DG: Daily Covid-19 cases could reach 8k if infectivity rate does not go down

PETALING JAYA: The number of daily Covid-19 cases could reach 8,000 a day in March if the infectivity rate – known as the R-naught (R0) – stays at 1.2, says Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pic).

Referring to a Susceptible-Exposed-Infectious-Removed (SEIR) model on the forecasts of daily cases from January to May, the Health director-general said daily cases could reach 5,000 by mid-February and 3,000 cases in the fourth week of January.

Malaysia on Thursday (Jan 7) breached 3,000 cases for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.

"We have to reduce the R0 to 0.5 to break the chain of infection in the country," he said in a Facebook post on Thursday (Jan 7).

The post was accompanied by forecasts if the R0 was at 1.1 and 1.2.

At the lower R0 rate of 1.1, Malaysia would only reach the 8,000 cases mark in the fourth week of May; 5,000 cases by the second week of April and 3,000 cases by the second week of February.

Dr Noor Hisham had said that the current R0 was between 1.1 and 1.2.

The country's total confirmed cases is now 128,456, with 25,724 active cases.

The death toll from the disease stands at 521.

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