Will Covid-19 cases surpass 30,000 daily?

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What is more important at this juncture are the actions to be taken in bringing the pandemic under control.

On July 13, Malaysians were shocked to learn that the number of Covid-19 cases recorded on that day had passed the 10,000 mark with 11,079 cases, up 29.2 percent over the previous day.

I was too numbed to react, but my wife warned that it may even go up to 20,000.

Bloomberg

But it seemed unlikely from July 14 to 24, as daily cases averaged 12,767 per day over this 11-day period. However, it rose sharply over the next 11 days from July 25 to August 4 when daily cases increased by a hefty 31.5 percent and averaged 16,794 per day.

Sadly, on her birthday on August 5, Covid-19 cases shot passed 20,000 with 20,596 cases
recorded nationwide. It was certainly not the best birthday present for her and those born on that day. In any case, it is now water under the bridge.

What is more important at this juncture are the actions to be taken in bringing the pandemic under control. What has proven to be inadequate in the past will not work well in the future and infections are bound to increase if we continue with more of the same.

If so, will Covid-19 cases surpass 30,000 daily? The answer is the public may never know if
the Government stops counting or disclosing the number of Covid-19 cases daily, like the
decision made by the multi-ministry task force tackling the pandemic in Singapore.

Malaysian Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said in a video posted on his Facebook page that Malaysia will no longer use daily coronavirus infections as a metric to ease curbs for states once they enter the second phase of the national recovery plan (NRP).

Instead, Covid-19 hospitalisation rate will be used as one of the three indicators to allow states to move to the third and the final phase of the NRP, with the two other thresholds – vaccination rate and ICU occupancy – remaining the same.

While it is good to introduce hospitalisation rate as a metric, it is equally important to continue disclosing the number of Covid-19 cases daily, although over 98 percent of new cases have only mild or no symptoms.

This is because the high number can be scary and those who fear contracting the coronavirus would try to stay home as much as possible. They would also be extra careful when going out to buy food or receiving deliveries, in avoiding crowds and not sharing lifts with other people.

Instead of using familiar terms such as full movement control order (FMCO), conditional MCO (CMCO) or recovery MCO (RMCO) that citizens and foreign workers have already been accustomed to, they have been replaced by Phase 1, 2, and 3 respectively under the NRP.

As a result, many people seem to forget that we are under FMCO or MCO, going by the large number of people on the streets and vehicles on the road, looking more like CMCO or Phase 3 of the NRP. No surprise that Covid-19 cases shot past 20,000 and still rising.

Back to the question. Will Covid-19 cases surpass 30,000 daily? I certainly hope not but fear it will, as long as politicians are more interested to gain or hold on to power more than
controlling this pandemic that had gone out of control, and sadly for far too long.

The dire situation is best described in a Malay poem.

Gajah sama gajah berjuang
pelanduk mati di tengah
Pertelinkahan orang berkuasa
orang biasa menjadi mangsa
Orang berkuasa saling bertengkar
berebut harta atau kuasa
demi nama
orang kecil
rakyat biasa
menjadi mangsa
dan sengsara

Translated:
While two elephants battle
the mousedeer dies in the middle
When the rich dispute
The ordinary folk become the victim
The powerful are always disputing
in their scramble for property or power
in their name
the poor
ordinary citizen
becomes the hapless suffering
victim

The views expressed here are strictly those of The True Net reader YS Chan from Kuala Lumpur.