Drastic drop to 2,764


PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia’s daily Covid-19 cases have dropped to 2,764, the lowest figure since the implementation of the second movement control order.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the number of positive cases in the country might continue to show a downward trend heading towards Feb 18, when the MCO is scheduled to end.

“Since the implementation of MCO 2.0, it was expected that cases will not show a reduction in its first few weeks. However, the restriction of movement will help avoid any exponential surge of cases.

“We saw how on Jan 31, the country recorded the highest number of daily cases at 5,298. However, a week after that, the cases went down and stabilised into a plateau.

“So, we are hoping by Feb 18 when the MCO is scheduled to end, we will see the number of cases heading towards a downward trend, ” he said at the ministry’s press conference yesterday.

Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry was aiming for the Covid-19 infectivity rate (R0) to go down from 1.2 to 0.6.

“If we can reach an R0 of 0.6 or less, it means that daily cases can be halved. For example, if there are 4,000 cases, the following day it will go down to 2,000 and then 1,000,500 and so forth.

“If this target can be reached, we can flatten the curve and we might be able to reach two-digit cases by the middle or end of May, ” he said.

However, Dr Noor Hisham said reducing daily case figures would depend largely on the public’s compliance with Covid-19 SOP.

“This requires the full support of the public. If everyone can comply with the SOP and stay at home if there are no urgent matters, we can reduce the daily cases and stop the transmission of cases in the community, ” he said.

With Chinese New Year coming up, Dr Noor Hisham called on Malaysians not to be complacent and to always practise fundamental Covid-19 preventive measures.

The last time Malaysia’s Covid-19 daily cases were below the 3,000 mark was on Jan 13, on the first day of MCO 2.0, when there were 2,985 cases.

Since Feb 6, cases have gone downwards – from 3,847 (Feb 6), 3,731 (Feb 7) to 3,100 (Feb 8).

Yesterday, the number of recoveries outnumbered the number of new cases – with 3,887 patients discharged from hospitals and quarantine centres.

The number of active Covid-19 cases went down from 51,977 to 50,841 in the past 24 hours.

There are 289 patients currently under intensive care, with 127 on ventilator support.

Dr Noor Hisham also announced 13 new Covid-19 fatalities, taking Malaysia’s death toll to 909.

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