The Health Ministry today warned that daily Covid-19 cases could hit 8,000 by mid-March if the basic reproduction number (R-nought or R0) of the virus infection increases to 1. 2.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah on his official Twitter account posted two Susceptible-Exposed-Infective-Recovered (SEIR) epidemiological prediction models of the possible rate of infections in the country when the R0 is at 1.1 and 1.2.
“Attention to daily cases of Covid-19 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,” he said in addition to the two graphs using the different values.
According to the SEIR model, in the current scenario where R0 infection rate is at 1.1, daily cases would hit 3,000 during the second week of February.
If the R0 remains at 1.1 by the second week of April Malaysia will see 5,000 daily cases.
Dr Noor Hisham also posted a second SEIR model with the infection rate at 1.2 — where Malaysia can potentially record 8,000 daily cases by the third week of March.
The graph only goes to a maximum of 10,000 cases, which Malaysia would hit before April.
Yesterday Dr Noor Hisham said R0 in Malaysia has increased back to 1.1 and added that authorities’ target to bring down the R0 to 0.5 has not been achieved yet.
He pointed out that authorities are concerned that the current trend has continuously shown in recent weeks that the cases are increasing.
He said the ministry needs to relook at the strategies that have been implemented since October 14.
R-nought of below 1.0 is necessary to prevent the growth of new infections.
On November 10, the R-nought of Covid-19 infections in Malaysia was under 1.0.
Source : Malay Mail
The Straits Times understands that Malaysia is preparing to impose its most stringent shutdown – the movement control order – in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Sabah, Johor, Penang and Melaka. This would mean people are required to stay home except for essential activities like buying food or getting medical attention, while schools, restaurants and workplaces will be shut.
Source : Straits Times
Klang Valley frontliners reach the end of the line
Frontliners in the Klang Valley are being pushed to their limits as they fight to curb the spread Covid-19 infections, even as the cases hit alarming numbers.
Yesterday alone, there were 965 cases reported in Selangor, making up more than a third of the total number of cases in the country and frontliners are reportedly at “breaking point”.
Close to 10,000 new cases have been reported in Selangor over the last two weeks
One healthcare worker in Hospital Putrajaya, who did not wish to be named, said some of her colleagues were close to collapse with “patients coming in non-stop” even after months of working during the pandemic.
“We are so tired and worried,” she told FMT. “Worried for ourselves and the families we go home to. To see people holidaying and flying around like nothing has happened makes us even more anxious.”
The biggest challenge in her work, she said, was dealing with misinformed or irresponsible patients.
“It is at extremes, because you have some that are really worried and come in when they have the flu, thinking they have Covid-19. Then, there are those who still lie about their whereabouts and their contacts with Covid positive patients, making our jobs much harder.”
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also previously said the country’s public hospitals and Covid-19 Low-Risk Patient Quarantine and Treatment Centres were almost at full capacity.
With the soaring number of daily cases, the healthcare worker said many of her fellow frontliners had themselves come into contact with positive cases and were forced to quarantine at home. This, in turn, led to a lack of manpower in the hospital.
In Hospital Putrajaya, there was still enough staff to manage the influx of patients, allowing others to take some much-needed time off.
But those who were working were fully stretched, treating the sick on eight-hour shifts in full personal protective equipment, making it difficult for them to eat, drink or even relieve themselves.
Despite the tough situation, the frontliners had to labour on, she said.
“No matter how terrible we feel, we break down in silence and go back to work the next day. Mental health now, more than ever, also needs to be addressed among healthcare workers.
“We don’t know how much more we can bear. Please think of yourself but more importantly think of the vulnerable family members at home. This fight isn’t about you alone,” she said.
Another healthcare worker in Hospital Kuala Lumpur predicted that the Klang Valley Covid-19 crisis was unlikely to end any time soon.
Although the hospital was not a designated centre to treat Covid-19 cases, he said they had been receiving a high number of non-Covid-19 patients redirected from Hospital Sg Buloh, on top of their existing patients.
“We are expecting a surge in the number of non-Covid-19 patients, as Hospital Sg Buloh now takes only Covid-19 patients.
“For now, the situation is still under control but patients have to wait slightly longer,” he said, but added that the hospital was making preparations in anticipation of a deluge of patients in the near future.
He said he and his colleagues have come to terms with the new norm and the more stringent personal hygiene practices.
However, he was disappointed over the public’s lack of compliance with the SOPs, saying the message that needed to be relayed was clear and simple – everyone should just stay
Source : FMT
ICUs at hospitals are reaching full capacity
It is learnt that in states like Melaka, Kedah, Johor, Penang and Selangor, more than 70% of hospital beds at government facilities have been taken up by Covid-19 patients alone.
“In Johor, the Enche Besar Hajjah Kalsum hospital has already hit 100% capacity in terms of beds and facilities.
“Hospital Sungai Buloh has also reached 100% capacity while the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (PPUM) has used up all its beds.
“We don’t have a lot of room left to treat patients. If daily cases continue to hit four figures, in a month’s time our healthcare system will collapse and we won’t be able to take in any more patients.”
Source : Malaysia Now
Healthcare system at breaking point, targeted MCO may be needed — Health D-G
“This is a very challenging time for the Ministry in terms of our healthcare system as we have a large number of patients. Our healthcare system has been pressured and [we are] at a breaking point now because cases are increasing everyday so we may not be able to accommodate patients in our facilities.
“[We are looking at] how we can enhance our healthcare but the best thing to do would be not only enhance our healthcare system, but also to reduce the load,” said Dr Noor Hisham at a press briefing today.
He said the country needed a circuit breaker, stressing that a more “targeted” approach of the MCO is needed to bring down the number of Covid-19 cases.
Source : The Edge