Covid-19 cases might increase the next two weeks

Yesterday, 13th July 2021, Malaysia recorded its highest number of Covid-19 cases at 11,079, since the pandemic arrived on our shors more than a year ago. While we are beefing up healthcare facilities and ramping up the national vaccination programme, Health Director-General Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has warned Malaysians that daily Covid-19 cases may continue to increase for the next two weeks before the numbers stabilise.

Expect a spike in cases

Dr Noor Hisham at a hospital ward
Image credit: Noor Hisham Abdullah

On 13th July 2021, The Star posted a 2-minute video of Dr Noor Hisham explaining the possibility of Covid-19 cases soaring in the coming weeks. In the video, he mentions that daily Covid-19 cases in Malaysia may continue to increase for another week or two before the numbers plateau.

Speaking at a press conference, Dr Noor Hisham said that the Movement Control Order (MCO) implemented on 1st June 2021 with tighter SOPs were able to bring the cases from 9,020 on 29th May 2021 down to the 5,000 mark thereafter. However, he added that the cases are currently spiking due to virus variants especially, the Delta variant which is spreading rapidly making it the current dominant variant in the world.

Things to take note of the Delta variant

Graph showing Covid-19 Cases in Malaysia
Image credit: Noor Hisham Abdullah

The Delta variant of Covid-19, B.1.617.2, was first detected in India in December 2020. It was classified as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization due to its increased transmissibility, more severe symptoms, and difficulty to detect in clinical tests.

The variant was first reported in Malaysia on 2nd May 2021 in an Indian national who tested positive at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

At the press conference, Dr Noor Hisham also mentioned that the infectivity rate of the Delta variant of Covid-19 is between 5.0 to 8.0, compared to 2.2 to 3.0 in the first virus detected in Wuhan, China.

“This means that if 100 people are infected with the Delta variant, they are able to spread the virus to 800 more people within a short period of time,” he said.

Since the Delta variant is spreading rapidly, people are advised to double up personal protection such as wearing two face masks instead of one, and wearing a face shield apart from regularly sanitising and washing your hands, avoiding crowded spots and other SOPs.

Covid-19 cases in Malaysia might increase for another a week or two before stabilising

While it may not be good news, we must continue to observe all the SOPs outlined by the health ministry to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Malaysia. Since we are now dealing with newer variants of the virus, it is important that we take extra precautions to protect ourselves from the deadly disease.

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Cover image adapted from: Noor Hisham Abdullah and Noor Hisham Abdullah

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