MOH Warns Malaysia Could See 8,000 Daily COVID-19 Cases By Mid-March

Based on projections, Malaysia should have only breached the 3,000 mark by the second week of February.

Cover image via Mukhriz Hazim/Malaysiakini & Reuters/The Straits Times

The Ministry of Health (MOH) warned that daily COVID-19 cases could reach up to 8,000 by mid-March if the infectivity rate, R-naught (R0), increases

On his official Facebook account, Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah posted two Susceptible-Exposed-Infective-Recovered (SEIR) epidemiological prediction graphs that show the possible number of daily cases if the R0 remains at 1.1 or increases to 1.2.

According to the graph with the country's current R0 at 1.1, the number of daily cases should have only breached the 3,000 mark by the second week of February.

However, Malaysia announced a record high of 3,027 cases today, 7 January, which reflects a higher infectivity rate should an upward trend continue.

With that said, the second SEIR graph with a higher R0 of 1.2 shows that Malaysia can potentially record 8,000 daily COVID-19 cases almost two months earlier than predicted

"Notice the daily COVID-19 cases and the expected projection of cases from 4 January to 31 May 2021 with R0 infection rates at 1.1 and 1.2 in Malaysia," Dr Noor Hisham advised.

With the current R0 of 1.1, the 8,000 mark should only be reached in the fourth week of May, but with the higher infection rate, the country could reach it by the third week of March.

Dr Noor Hisham said that Malaysia has to achieve an R0 of less than 1.0 to successfully curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country

Only yesterday, 6 January, he also announced that the authorities have failed to bring the country's R0 down to the target of 0.5.

However, he assured that the ministry is currently reviewing strategies and discussing further action that needs to be taken to battle the current concerning trend of increasing cases.

Remember to limit your movement and wash your hands often. Watch the latest update on the COVID-19 situation:

The country recorded 3,027 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours:

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