Malaysia’s Covid Cases May Rise From Record Before Levelling

Malaysia’s Covid cases which topped a record 11,000 on Tuesday may climb further in the next few days before stabilizing as the outbreak is being driven by the contagious Delta variant, Health Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said.

“We projected that the number of cases from July 3 will increase. It has been a week, and we anticipate that it will go up for a week or two, before we see cases stabilize,” he said at a briefing. “One of the reasons is because of the Delta variant. It is airborne and so the transmission is faster.”

Malaysia has been struggling to contain the recent outbreak driven by the emergence of new, more contagious variants despite much of the country being under a lockdown since June 1. The situation is dire in the Klang Valley -- an area comprising Selangor and Kuala Lumpur -- where Covid-linked admissions have left hospitals short of ICU beds and staff.

The government on Tuesday formed a task force to deal with cases in the Klang Valley and make swift decisions to mobilize resources in the area, which accounted for more than 60% of the day’s cases, Health Minister Adham Baba said in the same briefing.

The health ministry plans to increase bed capacity at hospitals located in Klang Valley to 3,777 from 3,412 in Selangor, and to 1,112 from 795 in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, the nation’s administrative capital, Noor Hisham said.

“We are mobilizing staff from other states to provide services in Klang Valley. The real solution to reduce the cases is to boost vaccination,” he said, adding there have been fewer hospital admissions for those who had received two shots.

While an accelerated vaccine roll-out has allowed the government to ease virus curbs in eight states in July, little over 11% of the population have been fully inoculated. Malaysia aims to lift that number to 60% by the end of September, Science Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said last month.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.