The trend of national Covid-19 cases continued to rise in week 17, exhibit an ascending trajectory from the previous week.
New this week
Malaysia surpassed the 3,000 daily new Covid-19 cases for the first time in two months. The last time Malaysia had reported more than 3000 new cases in a single day was on 24th February 2021 with 3545 cases. On 28th April 2021, new daily confirmed cases jumped from 2,733 to 3,142, and gradually increased over three consecutive days; with a peak of 3788 on 30th April 2021.
Trends in reported cases, transmissibility and mobility
Cumulatively, there were 21,342 new confirmed Covid-19 cases reported in week 17 bringing the national total to 411 495 cases. Continuing trends from the previous week, the highest new confirmed cases were recorded in four states, namely Selangor at 6,389 or 29.9%, followed by Sarawak, Kelantan and Kuala Lumpur at 3,785 (17.7%), 3081 (14.1%) and 2,217 (10.4%), respectively. At the end of week 17, the 7-day moving average recorded an increased from 2,711 cases (24th April 2021) to 3,168 cases.
As of 1st May 2021, the states reporting 14-day incidence density exceeding 100 cases per 100,000 population remains the same as week 16: Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Kelantan and Sarawak. The incidence in Kelantan continued to accelerate at the end of week 17 and has been increasing over the past two weeks.
The national Rt (time-varying reproductive number) value decreased to 1.15 at the end of week 17 in comparison to the previous week’s value of 1.2. A total of 11 states reported Rt value above 1 and nine states recorded a higher Rt value than the national average. Kedah recorded the highest Rt value of 1.62, while Sarawak, Sabah, WP Labuan, WP Putrajaya and Kelantan showed Rt value below the epidemic threshold of 1. An Rt figure above 1 would suggest that each existing infection causes more than 1 infection that results in a higher number of cases in subsequent generations of cases.
There was no increase in mobility to workplaces, parks and retails observed in week 17 as compared to the previous week, despite an increase of 22.7% new confirmed cases from week 16 (17,393) to week 17 (21,342). The increased numbers of new cases were likely contributed by the sudden surge of new clusters from education institutions, detention centres, and religious activities as reported in week 17, instead of workplace clusters. Notably, there was a steep reduction in the movement to the workplace on 29th April and 1st May, due to national public holidays on both days.
The government has recently announced the Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) of the upcoming festive season of Eid. As much as we want to embrace our family and friends during the celebration, let us always be vigilant and strictly comply with SOPs in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Prepared by Dr. Hiziani binti Hidzir, DrPH candidate from University of Malaya, and revised by Prof Dr. Sanjay Rampal, PhD.
The report is based on the information obtained from the COVID-19 Epidemiology for Malaysia dashboard.