Overall situation in the Epidemiological week 19,2021 (9-15 May 2021)
Announcement of a more intense nationwide movement control order had been predicted following the rise of new COVID-19 cases since epidemiological week 16 in April 2021. This persistent rise in incidence across the country had resulted in more aggressive SOPs that include restricting people’s movement across states and districts and this coincides with the Aidilfitri festival.
Trends in reported cases, and hospitalization
The 7 days moving average of 4,120 cases on the 9th to 4,251 cases on the 15th of May, may still peak further after months of stable community transmission and a new variant at bay. The decision by the Malaysian Security Council (Majlis Keselamatan Negara, MKN) to impose the movement control order (MCO 3.0) may help slow down and flatten the curve. This is to ensure our healthcare system is able to function at its optimal level after the recent surge in the use of bed and ICU utilization since early May.
The time-varying reproductive number (Rt) had stabilized between a rate of 1.1 – 1.2 at end of April. However, the northern region states of Kedah and Penang, the southern states in Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor have a higher Rt level between 1.2 and 1.3. As for Sabah and Sarawak, the Rt has been lower than the national average.
This prolonged pandemic has not only impacted the healthcare system but is also reshaping our society as a whole. For better or worse, social media platforms are constantly updating COVID-19 stories and situations locally and globally. With the second phase of the vaccination program just around the corner, we should expect the country’s immunity against COVID-19 to strengthen and for our healthcare system to be in better health.
Prepared by Dr. Mohamad Borhanuddin Helmy Bin Zanail, 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.