Monday, May 31, 2021

171 Million Cases and Malaysia Returns to Nationwide Lockdown

It’s now 171 million cases and Covid-19 is still very much a threat throughout the world. 

Already, another country, Uzbekistan has joined the C100K grouping, making it country #93. And these countries combined to contribute 98.6% and 98.7% of infections and fatalities respectively worldwide.

In Malaysia, the situation is getting from bad to worse. 

On Saturday, new Covid-19 cases soared to 9,020 new infections, setting yet another unwanted daily record – even as there was a respite yesterday and today with 6,999 and 6,824 cases respectively. No matter, the numbers are troublingly high. 

Anyway, the government have already announced a “total lockdown” of the country from tomorrow until 14, during which time all non-essential activities will be prohibited.

According to the authorities, the essential services sectors allowed to open during MCO 3.0 include health services, water and energy utilities, transport – including ports and airports, communications – including news media and broadcasts, banks, information technology, construction and critical repairs, forestry and wildlife enforcement, aerospace, electrical and electronics, printing, and cleaning as well as the food and beverage industry. 

Wow, that’s a long list!

I'm appalled because the rising trend of workplace clusters is alarming. If you don't know, most of the said clusters – almost 50% – are from the manufacturing sector. And yet, much of manufacturing – 18 sectors in total – will be allowed to continue operating but with reduced worker capacity. 

Between April 01 and May 27, 287 workplace clusters were detected, involving 17,087 cases. Of these, 16,785 cases, involving 233 workplace clusters, are still active. Clearly, many employers are not SOP compliant. 

Anyway, let’s see how the "total lockdown" pans out. Oftentimes, we don’t actually do what we say we want to do. U-turns are our thing, if you must know.

And I hope the government will wise up and use the 14-day lockdown to do mass testing-and-tracing, speed up vaccinations and overall, re-strategize. Otherwise, Covid numbers will surely swell and bloat further.

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