New Covid-19 cases could pass 10,000 in a few weeks, warns Muhyiddin

(FMT) – Malaysia is facing a more challenging third wave of Covid-19 following the emergence of several new variants that have increased the infectivity rate of the pandemic in the country, said Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said the country recorded a surge in cases over the past few weeks, with Covid-19 positive cases exceeding 4,000 a day over the past few days.

More worrying is that there are new Covid-19 variants in Malaysia that are more virulent, such as the ones found in India, the UK, Brazil, South Africa and several other countries.

Muhyiddin said he expects the daily Covid-19 cases to pass the 10,000 mark in the next few weeks if nothing is done to prevent the spread of the new variants.

“At that time, the nation’s entire healthcare system, which is currently at a critical stage, will be paralysed like what has happened in other countries. People will die lying by the roadside as hospitals will no longer have the capability to take in any more patients,” he said in a Hari Raya Aidilfitri message aired on local television stations tonight.

According to Muhyiddin, the government can increase the number of beds, oxygen supply and ventilators as hospitals in the country are reaching maximum capacity, with beds in the intensive care units almost fully utilised.

However, he said, no matter how many beds or other medical facilities are provided, they would not be able to cope with the number of patients warded if there is a surge in positive cases.

Muhyiddin said that areas that were previously categorised as green zones were now turning into yellow and red zones.

“The government initially took the targeted approach to curb the spread of the virus within the community. We implemented the movement control order (MCO) in several states and districts. The enhanced MCO (EMCO) was also enforced in several areas,” he said.

However, within several weeks almost all the areas in the country had changed to red zones as the virus spread rapidly, with almost 70% of the infections occurring sporadically, that is, transmitted within the community, he added.

On the latest MCO, Muhyiddin said it was a necessary move.

“If no firm and drastic action was taken, the country could plunge into a health catastrophe and face a national crisis.”

The prime minister said the MCO was needed to save the lives and future of the people.

“I know, this is not a popular decision. Some are angry with me (and ask) why resort to this when Muslims will celebrate 1 Syawal tomorrow. You can’t travel back to your hometown, you can’t even visit family and friends. Is this government really cruel?

“I am not a tyrant. I made this decision to protect the lives of all of you. If I allow house-to-house visits, there is a possibility that guests who visit your home are Covid-19 positive,” he said.