Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Malaysia's Covid Numbers Game

Source: MOH data accessed on September 21, 2021

I had previously highlighted the Covid-19 cases who died before seeking medical treatment, known as brought-in-dead (BID) before – but the mainstream press don’t seem to give it much attention. 

Anyway, it is claimed that BID cases hovered above 20 percent of weekly fatalities in Malaysia from August 01 – although we are led to believe that their numbers are happily declining. 

According to a CodeBlue report today, in the 37th epidemiological week from September 12 to 18, the national BID share of overall Covid-19 deaths fell to 17.5 percent (186 BIDs of 1,063 total deaths) from 23.1 percent (331 BIDs of 1,431 total deaths) the previous week. 

And from the September 05-18 period, the Covid BIDs mainly come from three states, i.e. Sabah (26%), Penang (18%), and Johor (17%) which together comprised 61%, or 315 cases in the country. The 517 BID cases that occurred nationwide from the said period comprised 20.7 percent of 2,494 total Covid-19 deaths in that fortnight. 

In fact, the announcement of BID cases are almost devoid of details and even basic info such as their age, nationality, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status are unavailable. 

Note that CodeBlue’s analysis had used data on “actual” fatalities that occurred on the date of death, based on data accessed today from the MOH GitHub database – but these figures are likely to change as backlogs are supposedly processed. 

On a separate matter, MOH yesterday revealed that there has been a rise of Covid-19 cases among children aged 18 and below, with 67 children recorded dying of the disease this year, up until Sunday. MoH had compared this to 2020, where the novel coronavirus was recorded as taking the lives of six children.

So what? What can anybody do with those numbers? We need a full set of data lah! 

FYI, data are more than numbers. Rather, they are numbers with a context. And context provides meaning. 

Only then can we make sense of issues that need to be investigated.

This brings me to the realization that I should stop reporting Covid numbers because we already know that they are not even actual numbers. 

The only takeaway from the stats is that our Covid numbers are still freaking high! Nothing new, right?

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