On the right track, and the numbers prove it

BY now, most of us might have lost track of how long we have been under movement control order (MCO) 3.0 as the new daily Covid-19 infections continue to stay in the high figures.

But I am quite certain that the worst is behind us now – and the statistics bear this out. Over the past few weeks, the government has started releasing more detailed data that helps us understand the actual state of the pandemic we are in.

For example, starting mid-July, the Health Ministry started to break down the new infections into five categories, with Category 1 being patients with no symptoms while Category 5 are patients who need under ventilator support.

Consistently, the number of Category 1 and Category 2 (patients with mild symptoms) make up more than 97% of all new daily cases. Category 3 (requiring hospitalisation), Category 4 (suffering from lung infection and needing oxygen supplementation) and Category 5 patients only make up less than 3% of all new infections.

Put in another way, there is no need to be overly alarmed over the thousands of new infections recorded daily, although we must continue to follow Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP).

More recently, the Health Ministry has started releasing even more granular data on the daily infections. Along with the different categories the patients are in, since July 26 the ministry also started classifying patients based on whether they have been vaccinated or otherwise.

For example, on Aug 2, of the 8,783 new infections in Category 1, 87.7% of them do not have a vaccination history. For those in Category 5, 97.7% of them have not had a single dose of vaccine.

This is a consistent trend across all categories of Covid-19 patients over the past few days since such granular data was made public.

In other words, vaccination works and those who have not been vaccinated are much more susceptible to the nasty virus than those who have.

But more importantly, our vaccination rate is picking up, so much so that we have caught the attention of the wife of Singapore’s Prime Minister who lauded our speed in her social media post.

As at Aug 2, the government, which has been administering over 500,000 vaccines a day, has fully inoculated over 30% of its adult population. Over 61% of the adult population in Malaysia has received at least one dose.

Operation “Surge Capacity” has been a success with 96.7% of the adult population in the Klang Valley having received at least one dose.

The Klang Valley has been the main contributor of new daily infections nationwide, making up around half of the cumulative number.

Minister in charge of vaccination Khairy Jamaluddin has said that by Aug 31, half the adult population of Malaysia would be fully vaccinated.

By the end of October, all adults in Malaysia would have received both doses of the respective vaccines. When that happens, infections and mortality will drop – and this has been proven with statistics the world over.

As it is, we are witnessing how localities that received fast-track vaccinations are seeing their infections and deaths drop. Starting Aug 4, Perlis, Sarawak and Labuan will transition into Phase 3 of the National Recovery Plan, the first three localities to do so.

Their aggressive vaccination exercise has seen Sarawak and Labuan stepping towards “normalcy” faster than other parts of the country despite the uncontrollable spread of the deadly virus there earlier.

Those who have doubts about whether we are on the right track just need to look at Sarawak and Labuan. The light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter by the day.

LOUIS KANG ,Petaling Jaya

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