Overall situation in the Epidemiological week 18,2021 (2-8 May 2021)
A rising trend of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia was observed in Epi week 18 with the highest COVID – 19 cases (4,514) reported on the 8th May 2021. A similar rising trajectory was observed for the general and ICU bed utilization.
New this week
The COVID-19 cases observed on the 8th May 2021 was the highest peak over the past 12 weeks. Seven states (Kelantan, Sarawak, W.P Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Pulau Pinang, W.P Putrajaya and Negeri Sembilan) reported 14-day incidence densities exceeding 100 cases per 100 000 population. A cumulative 436,916 cases were reported at the end of week 18, with a rising total death toll of 1,657.
Trends in reported cases, and hospitalization
The 7-day moving average of 3,254 cases (2nd May 2021) increased to 3,620 (8th May 2021). Increment of cases in week 18 were driven by rising COVID-19 cases in seven states; Kedah, Pulau Pinang, Selangor, W.P Kuala Lumpur, Terengganu and to smaller extent in Pahang and Melaka. Meanwhile, it is relatively stable in other states including Perlis, Negeri Sembilan, Sabah and W.P Labuan.
Seven states (Kelantan, Sarawak, W.P Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Pulau Pinang, W.P Putrajaya and Negeri Sembilan) reported 14-day incidence densities exceeding 100 cases per 100 000 population. Highest rise of incidence from the beginning till the end of week 18 was observed in Kedah and Terengganu with rise of 54% and 52% cases, respectively.
Overall transmissibility was similar throughout week 18. Towards the end of the week, only two states (Kelantan and Sabah) reported Rt below the epidemic threshold of 1 while highest Rt of 1.5 was reported in Pulau Pinang and Terengganu.
Upsurge of COVID-19 cases drains the reserve Health System capacity. This is evident as general bed utilization had risen beyond 100% capacity and towards end of week 18, general bed utilization had reached 150%. ICU bed utilization of 40% (2nd May 2021) increased to 45% (8th May 2021) while ventilator utilization shows slow usage increment from 11% to 13% towards the end of the week.
With rising trend of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia, strict adherence to SOP is recommended to flatten the curve.
Prepared by Dr Karthikeyanathan Ramoo, DrPH student from University of Malaya and revised by Prof Dr Sanjay Rampal. The report is based on the information obtained from the COVID-19 Epidemiology for Malaysia dashboard.