Instead of helping to resolve the crisis of confidence in the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic by appearing as a guest on Radio Television Malaysia’s Selamat Pagi Malaysia talk show yesterday, the Health Minister Dr. Adham Baba had done the opposite.
He said that the current Covid-19 recovery rate was higher than the first two waves – quoting the statistics of recovery and discharge rate of 73.4 per cent out of 48,520 case tally, while there were 12,601 active cases.
This clashes with the earlier oft-repeated claims of the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as when he launched a new norm campaign in Pagoh on August 8, that Malaysia had one of the highest rates of Covid-19 recovery in the world – quoting the statistics of 8,728 people having recovered fromn Covid-19, or 96.3% of the national toll of 9,063 cases.
After his “ayer suam”, “500 countries” and “15 states in Malaysia”, is Adham Baba committing another gaffe?
Even more seriuous, is the Health Minister downplaying the seriousness of the current surge of Covid-19 cases with Malaysia likely to overtake China, formerly the top No. 1 country in the world with the most Covid-19 infections at the start of the pandemic, if Malaysia is unable to reduce the four-digit daily increase of Covid-19 cases.
Yesterday, the Health Director-General, Noor Hisham Abdullah reported a new daily number of 1,210 new Covid-19 case, the fifth consecutive day where the daily increase is in four-digit figure.
In the early period of the Covid-19 epidemic, when China was the top No. 1 country in the world with the most number of Covid-19 cases, Malaysia was placed 18th in the world.
Today, China is placed No. 64th country with 86,361 Covid-19 cases, far behind eleven countries which have passed the million mark of Covid-19 cases, led by United States with over 11.6 million cases, India as second with over 8.9 million cases, Brazil as third with over 5.8 million cases, France and Russia as fourth and fifth country with over 1.9 million cases.
Malaysia is placed No. 85 with 49,730 Covid-19 cases. In South-East Asia, when Malaysia started off as top country with the most number of Covid-19 cases, Indonesia and the Philippines have over taken not only Malaysia but China, as they are placed respectively as No. 21 with 474,455 Covid-19 cases and No. 26 with 410,718 cases.
However, if Malaysia continues to surge with four-digit daily increases, by the end of the year 2020, Malaysia will overtake China as a country with more number of Covid-19 infections!
Adham Baba’s appearance as a special guest of RTM breakfast programme was a disappointment as he had done nothing to help resolve the crisis of confidence in the government’s response particularly in the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia, as the government has failed to adopt a “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” mindset and approach in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic after ten long months.