Health DG sounds alarm as Covid-19 infections begin rising

Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. – Bernama photo.

By John Isaac

HEALTH director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah sounded the alarm this morning as the curve of Covid-19 infections began showing an upward trend.

“We need strong social responsibility and compliance to flatten the curve again,” he posted on Facebook.

Noor Hisham’s announcement comes a day after the national Covid-19 effective reproduction number – a measure of the disease’s infectivity – hit 1.00. The number had been hovering around 0.87 for most of the first half of March.

The last time the national R-naught (R0) was at 1.0 or above was on Feb 4, when it was at 1.09.

An R-naught of 1.0 implies that the outbreak is neither growing nor shrinking and means that the decline in cases has flattened out.

The daily number of fresh cases dropped to as low as 1,063 on March 16.

Subsequently, in the past nine days, daily cases have averaged around 1,348 – with a peak of 1,671 cases on March 20.

According to reports in Malaysiakini, in the past six days, the number of new cases had also outpaced recoveries by four times, leading to an increase in active cases.

In the model shown by Noor Hisham, the country should start reporting less than 1,000 new cases per day by mid-April if the R-naught goes down to 0.8 due to SOP compliance.

However, if the R-naught increases to 1.2, the daily cases could go up to above 2,000 per day in mid-May.