Malaysia Dateline

Why we are heading towards over 6,000 Covid-19 deaths in the month

In the first eleven days of August, there had been 2,349 Covid-19 deaths when in the first month of the Emergency from January 11 – Feb. 10, 2021, there had only been 268 Covid-19 deaths!

A community activist Dr. Mohamed Rafick Khan had observed in his blog that the two per cent of Covid-19 cases in Stage 3, 4 and 5 had remained constant even before vaccination started globally.

As Dr. Rafick pointed out: “Vaccination did not shift this percentage. It remains at 98%.”

Dr. Rafick said the 2% had remained constant but the distribution of cases within stages 3-5 and deaths had worsened.

He said: “This has nothing to do with vaccination. The distribution and death stats degradation due to poor capacity and capabilities at the hospitals. It relates to medical staff fatigue and serious loss of motivation.

“We are facing this issue today because policy-makers have not paid adequate attention to hospital development. They had relied on the private sector to provide the services. We have not hired and trained adequate medical resources.

“So when KKM and MKN are using the new parameters under NRP to determine the phases, the public needs to understand the meaning of hospital admission data and deaths numbers.

“The improving phase does not mean the situation on the ground is improving. If vaccination is effective, death and Stage 5 numbers will be closer to nill, and we should have more patients in Stages 3 and 4. We must remain vigilant and guarded.”

As it is, we seem to be helpless to prevent the National Day Month from being the most tragic month of the 20-month Covid-19 pandemic – with a cumulative total of over 1.7 million Covid-19 cases and over 15,000 Covid-19 deaths.

Yesterday, we were the world’s top 11th country in daily new Covid-19 deaths.

This is not yet taking into account the unprecedented high suicide and suicide-attempt rates in the country as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

While there is lot of talk about decriminalising suicide attempts, criminal charges are still be preferred against those attempting suicide, although what they needed most are psychiatric help and not to be treated as criminals.

Until legislative action is taken to decriminalise suicide attempts, I call on the government to demonstrate compassion and empathy and announce an immediate moratorium and halt all prosecution of pending suicide attempt cases.

Media Statement by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, August 12, 2021.