KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysia has recorded 182 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, according to Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
This is the second time new daily cases have come close to 200 this week, after what had appeared to be a consistent recovery for Malaysia.
However, Dr Noor Hisham also disclosed that no new deaths were reported, keeping the death toll at 128.
Worryingly for the country, all but one of the 182 cases involved local transmissions involving 90 Malaysians and 91 foreigners.null
Of further concern is that 167 of these local transmissions all occurred in Sabah that is about to face a state election, nominations taking place tomorrow.
Another 14 were registered in Kedah and one in Selangor.
The surge in new cases meant the number of active and contagious Covid-19 cases were now 501.
Of these patients, nine were under intensive care including five on ventilators.
While the Health Ministry has not disclosed the exact basic reproduction rate — expressed as r-nought (r0) — of the coronavirus now, the 182 cases recorded in the previous 24 hours will have pushed this back above 2.0.
The Health D-G warned that it was imperative to suppress the r0 to below 1.60 that was considered the critical level in order to avoid a fresh wave of Covid-19 infections hitting Malaysia.
“However, if it remains at 1.60 for two weeks or more, it is possible the number of infections will increase drastically,” he said yesterday.null
The r0 is used in the analysis of infectious diseases to predict the average number of subsequent infections each new case could cause.
Using an r0 of 2.0 for example, each new infection could result in an average of another two more patients subsequently.
Consequently, the 182 cases reported today could result in 364 more cases that could then propagate at the r0 then, or exponential growth.
Any r0 above 1 means the disease must continue to grow, at a faster or slower rate depending on the r0.
For Covid-19 to decline and be eradicated in Malaysia, the r0 must be below 1.0.
The country had appeared to have weathered the Covid-19 wave after months of various movement control orders (MCO), but the Health Ministry was forced to impose an enhanced MCO in the Kota Setar district in Kedah yesterday after cases surged there.
BY : JUSTIN ONG – MALAY MAIL