PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s Covid-19 infectivity rate - known as R0 (pronounced R-naught) - has reduced from 1.05 to 0.88 in a span of two weeks, says Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
The Health director-general shared a graphic of the estimated R0 in the past two weeks on his Facebook page.
On Jan 28, the R0 was 1.05, going up to 1.16 on Jan 31 before reducing to 0.99 on Feb 5, and subsequently to 0.88 on Thursday (Feb 11).
The R0 in the states, however differs, with Selangor, Penang and Melaka having the highest rates at 1.04, 1.04, and 1.13, respectively.
The R0 of a virus is a measure of its transmission, or number of new infections generated by each case.
An R0 rate of 1, for example, means that on average, each infected person will infect one other person they come in contact with.
According to a Susceptible-Exposed-Infectious-Removed (SEIR) model on the forecasts of daily cases from September last year to May, the number of cases could reach 10,000 by mid-March with an R0 of 1.2.
At the lower R0 rate of 1.1, Malaysia would reach the 9,000 daily cases mark in the fourth week of May.
Dr Noor Hisham has previously said that the R0 has to be reduced to 0.5 to break the chain of infection in the country.
He has also said that the second movement control order that was placed on the country in January had resulted in a decline in the number of cases.
As of Thursday, the country recorded 254,988 Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic last year with the death toll at 936.