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Features : COVID 19: Transition To Endemic Phase, New Cases Hover At Four-Digit Levels

By Melati Mohd Ariff

This is Bernama’s round-up of COVID-19 related matters in Malaysia and globally from Sept 11 to noon today. In Malaysia, case numbers have exceeded 2 million and globally, the virus has infected more than 227 million people and caused over 4.6 million deaths. Some 204 million patients have so far recovered from the pandemic.  Some 223 countries and territories are affected by the pandemic.

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) — The government has set a timeline for the nation to prepare the people for the endemic phase of COVID-19 by the end of next month, but the target may not be realised given the high new cases.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has cautioned Klang Valley residents not to let their guard down following the announcement that Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya would move to Phase 2 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) on Sept 10. 

This comes after large crowds were seen in the city centre and recreational parks after the announcement. Most of the people were seen not following the basic standard operating procedures (SOPs) of wearing face masks and observing physical distancing.

“I’ve previously spoken several times about the government’s target to start moving into the endemic phase by the end of October. 

“However, to realise this target, it requires the cooperation of the whole nation to continue complying with the SOPs,” he added. 

 According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), Malaysia’s new daily cases stood at the four-digit level of 18,815 as at noon yesterday, Sept 16.

This brings the cumulative cases to 2,049,750 cases yesterday, surpassing the two million mark on Sept 14.  

With a cumulative figure of 2,049,750 cases, Malaysia is now in the 21st spot out of 223 nations/territories which have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ahead of Malaysia is Peru (2,163,312 cases) and the Philippines  (2,304,192 cases). 

–fotoBERNAMA (2021) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Daily new cases during the week as compiled by Bernama from Sept 11 to Sept 16 are as follows:


Sept 11 (19,550); Sept 12 ( 19,198), Sept 13 ( 16,073), Sept 14 Sept (15,669), Sept 15 (19,495) and Sept 16 (18,815).

Meanwhile, total COVID-19 patients who recovered as of yesterday was at 16,939, bringing total cumulative figure to 1,800,278 cases (87.8 per cent) from the overall total COVID-19 cases.

Of a total of 913 COVID-19 patients referred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 422 cases needed intubation/respiratory support.

According to MOH, COVID-19 fatalities on Sept 16 stood at 346 cases, bringing the total fatalities to 22,355 cases.

Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said, of the 18,815 new daily cases reported yesterday,  222 (1.2 per cent) were in categories 3, 4 and 5. A total of 18,593 cases (98.8 per cent) were in categories 1 and 2.

MOH has categorised category 5 as critical patients with multiple organ complications requiring ventilator support; while category 4 involves symptomatic patients with lung infection and need oxygen supplementation and category 3 is for symptomatic patients with lung infection. Category 1 is for those with no symptom while category 2 involves those with mild symptoms.

According to Dr Noor Hisham, a UKM Medical Molecular Biological Institute (UMBI) study has identified 23 new SARS-CoV-2 variants while the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) has detected 38 Variant of Concern (VOC) cases, namely 36 Delta variant cases (B.1.617.2) and 2 variant Beta cases (B.1.351).

This brings the total cumulative cases of SARS-CoV-2 that are categorised as VOC and Variant of Interest (VOI) to 1,385 cases.

–fotoBERNAMA (2021) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Of the total detected, 1,365 cases are VOC while 20 cases are VOI. To date, under VOC category, 1,141 Delta variant cases were detected, 211 Beta variant cases and 14 Alpha variant cases. While for VOI category, there were 13 Theta variant cases, four Kappa cases and three Eta variant cases.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 infectivity rate or R-naught (R0) value stayed at below 1.0.

The daily R0 or Rt value nationwide during the week under review is as follows:  


Sept 11 (0.99), Sept 12  (0.98 ), Sept 13 (0.98),  Sept 14  (0.96), Sept 15 (0.97) and Sept 16 (0.98).


State-wise, Sarawak recorded the highest R0/Rt value yesterday at 1.11.

The R-Naught or R0/Rt value of a virus indicates the infectivity rate or the number of new infections generated by each case. An R0 value of 0.5 would be needed to flatten this deadly virus’ infection curve.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS IN THE NATION

–fotoBERNAMA (2021) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

As of yesterday, the number of active clusters nationwide totalled 1,406. On the whole, Malaysia has recorded a total of 5,228 COVID-19 clusters, with 3,822 of them having ended.

During the week under review, 169 new clusters had emerged with most of them linked to the workplace (87, 51.5 per cent) and the community (59, 35.0 per cent).

Yesterday, eight states recorded four-digit new case  numbers, five states three-digit and three states two-digit.

The state-by-state breakdown of new cases is as follows:  

Four-digit cases: Sarawak 3,660, Selangor 2,718, Johor 2,206, Sabah 1,982, Penang 1,777, Perak 1,446, Kedah 1,233 and Kelantan 1,222.

Three-digit cases: Terengganu 814, Pahang 712, Kuala Lumpur 493, Melaka 269 and Negeri Sembilan 170.

Two-digit cases: Perlis 80, Putrajaya 22 and Labuan 11.

COVID-19 SCENARIO IN MALAYSIA (SEPT 11-16)

–fotoBERNAMA (2021) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Following is the  breakdown of COVID-19 patients based on their respective categories: 


Of a total of 19,550 cases on Sept 11: 265 cases (1.4 per cent) are categories  3, 4 and 5; and 19,285 (98.6 per cent) categories 1 and 2.

Of a total of 19,198 cases on Sept 12: 253 cases (1.3 per cent) are categories 3, 4, and 5; and 18,945 (98.7 per cent) categories 1 and 2.

Of 16,073 cases on Sept 13: 233 (1.5 per cent) are categories 3, 4, and 5; and 15,840 (98.5 per cent) categories 1 and 2.

Of a total of 15,669 cases as at Sept 14: 283  (1.8 per cent) categories 3, 4, and 5; and 15,386 (98.2 per cent) categories 1 and 2.

Of 19,495 cases as at Sept 15: 308 (1.6 per cent) categories 3, 4, and 5; and 19,187 cases (98.4 per cent) categories 1 and 2.

Of 18,815 cases reported on Sept 16: 222 cases (1.2 per cent) are in categories 3, 4, and 5; and 18,593 cases (98.8 per cent) categories 1 and 2.

Following is the daily breakdown of recovered cases: 

–fotoBERNAMA (2021) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Sept 11 ( 21,771), Sept 12 ( 20,980), Sept 13 (24,813), Sept 14 (18,053), Sept 15 ( 18,760) and Sept 16 ( 16,939).

*cumulative recovered cases as at Sept 16 stood at 1,800,278 (87.8 per cent).

Following is the daily breakdown of new cases, local transmissions and other related matters:

Sept 11  – New cases : 19,550 cases (1,960,500 cumulative cases); Imported cases : 7 (5 Malaysian citizens; 2 non-citizens); Local transmission: 19,543 [17,153 Malaysian citizens (87.8 per cent);  2,390 non-citizens (12.2 per cent).

Sept 12 – New cases: 19,198 (1,979,698 cumulative cases); Imported cases : 5 (2 Malaysians; 3 non-citizens); Local transmission: 19,193 cases [17,428 citizens (90.8 per cent);  1,765 non-citizens (9.2 per cent)];

Sept 13 – New cases : 16,073 (1,995,771 cumulative); Imported cases: 21 (8 citizens; 13 non-citizens); Local transmission: 16,052 [14,352 citizens (89.4%);  1,700 non-citizens (10.6 per cent)];

Sept 14 – New cases : 15,669 (2,011,440 cumulative); Imported cases: 17 (7 citizens; 10 non-citizens); Local transmission : 15,652 [14,169 citizens (90.5 per cent);  1,483 non-citizens (9.5 per cent)];

Sept 15 – New cases : 19,495 (2,030,935 cumulative); Imported cases : 11 (5 citizens; 6 non-citizens); Local transmission : 19,484 [17,860 citizens (91.7 per cent);  1,624 non-citizens (8.3 per cent)];

Sept 16  – New cases: 18,815 (2,049,750 cumulative); Imported cases : 7 (4 citizens; 3 non-citizens); Local transmission : 18,808 (16,819 citizens (89.4 per cent);  1,989 non-citizens (10.6 per cent)].

The daily breakdown in fatalities is as follows:

Sept 11 – 592 cases  (brought in dead cases or BID 88); 

Sept 12 – 292 cases (BID 106); 

Sept 13 – 413 cases (BID 176);

Sept 14 – 463 (BID 108 ); 

Sept 15  – 422 cases (BID 92); and

Sept 16 – 346 fatalities (*105). 

New clusters reported:

Sept 11  – 28 new clusters (workplace 17, community 6, high-risk group 3 and education 2);

Sept 12 – 34 new clusters (workplace 17, community 14, high-risk group 2 and religious-related 1);

Sept 13 – 32 new clusters (workplace 16, community 14, high-risk 1 and education 1);

Sept 14 – 29 new clusters 29 (workplace 14, community 12 and high-risk 3);

Sept 15 Sept – 25 new clusters (workplace 14, community 7, religious-related 1, education 1 and high-risk 2);

Sept 16  – 21 new clusters (workplace 9, community 6, high-risk 2, education 3 and detention centre 1).

GLOBAL COVID-19 STATISTICS

Current worldwide statistics on COVID-19 and COVID-19 case summary in Malaysia. worldometers.info/coronavirus

The total number of COVID-19 cases worldwide, according to Worldometer, at the time of writing this article stood at 227,826,370  (224,163,986 at the same time last Friday) with 4,683,977 fatalities (4,623,479 last Friday). Total number of recoveries stood at 204,470,415 (200,774,214 last Friday). 

Some 223 countries are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and those in the top 10 of the list are the United States, India, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, Turkey, Iran, Argentina and Colombia.

The breakdown is as follows: United States 42,634,054 cases (688,486 fatalities); India 33,380,522 (444,278); Brazil 21,069,017 (589,277); Ynited Kingdom 7,339,009 (134,805);  Russia 7,214,520 (195,835); France 6,934,732 (115,894 fatalities); Turkey 6,767,008 (60,903 fatalities); Iran 5,378,408 (116,072 fatalities); Argentina 5,234,851 (114,101) and Colombia 4,936,052 (125,782 fatalities).

China, where the outbreak was first reported at end-December 2019, is now at the 109th spot in the list of 223 countries affected by COVID-19 with 95,577 cases while its death toll remained at 4,636. 

Besides Malaysia, the five other Southeast Asian nations that have joined the list of 107 countries with more than 100,000 cases are Indonesia (13th spot) with 4,181,309 cases (139,919 deaths); Philippines (19th spot) with 2,304,192 cases (36,018 deaths); Thailand (29th spot) with 1,448,792 cases (15,124 deaths); Vietnam (47th spot) with 656,129 cases (16,425 deaths); Myanmar (62nd spot) with 440,741 cases (16,869 deaths); Cambodia (107th spot) with 102,136 cases (2,078 deaths);  Singapore (116th) with 74,848 cases (59 deaths); Laos (150th spot) with 18,059 cases (16 deaths); and Brunei (183rd spot) with 4,675 cases (23 deaths).

COVID-19 BACKGROUND

The World Health Organisation’s China country office was informed of cases of pneumonia that were detected in Wuhan on Dec 31, 2019. On Jan 7, 2020 the Chinese authorities confirmed that the newly detected novel coronavirus can be transmitted from human to human.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-COV).

A study of the virus’ genetic sequence suggested similarities to that seen in snakes and bats. China health officials identified the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan as the source of the transmission of the coronavirus.

On Feb 11, 2020, WHO announced the official name of the virus, COVID-19, which is an acronym for coronavirus 2019 – CO stands for corona, VI for virus and D for disease.

On Jan 30, 2020, WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak as a global emergency and on March 11, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.

WHO has described the COVID-19 outbreak as much more dangerous than the A H1N1 Influenza, also known as Swine Flu.

Swine Flu, which occurred between January 2009 and August 2010, infected more than 1.6 million people and caused 18,449 fatalities. It was first detected in Mexico and later in the United States in March 2009.

COVID-19 was detected in Malaysia on Jan 25, 2020, when three Chinese citizens, who had entered Malaysia through Johore from Singapore on Jan 23, were tested positive for the disease.

New variants of the COVID-19 coronavirus have since emerged in the United Kingdom (identified as B117) in September 2020, South Africa (501Y.V2) in October 2020 and India (B.1.617), also in October 2020.

 Cumulatively, Malaysia’s COVID-19 cases have breached the one million mark as on July 25, with  1,013,438 cases. The first time daily cases reached the five-digit level was on July 13 with 11,079 cases.

Translated by Salbiah Said

BERNAMA  


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