Deadlier Delta variant among reasons for Covid-19 spike

Health DG says if the Delta variant infects 100 people, it could spread to 800 more and it is also airborne, whereby the transmission is faster


MALAYSIA recorded a shocking spike in new Covid-19 cases yesterday with 11,079 cases, a new all-time high.

The second highest was 9,353 cases recorded on July 10, 2021.

One of the reasons for the sudden spike in Covid-19 cases, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said, is because of the deadlier Delta variant which has an infectivity rate of 5 to 8 in R0 value.

In a special press conference yesterday, the Health DG said in comparison, the Wuhan variant had an R0 value of 2.2 to 3.

“This means that if the Delta variant infects 100 people, it could spread to 800 more. It is also airborne and so the transmission is faster.

“Therefore, people are encouraged to wear double masks or face shields and avoid crowded areas because if someone in the crowd is positive, the virus can spread quickly.”

Dr Noor Hisham said cases are expected to increase over the next two weeks before it stabilises.

“We projected that the number of cases from July 3 will increase. This has been a week and we anticipate that it will go up more for a week or two, before cases stabilise,” he said.

Of the new cases recorded yesterday, 70% were from the Klang Valley and 30% from Negri Sembilan.

This has brought the cumulative number of cases to 855,949 cases. There are now 972 Covid-19 patients in the intensive care units (ICUs) where 456 require the ventilator.

There were also 125 deaths yesterday, increasing the total number of fatalities to 6,385.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the ministry will add more bed capacity at all hospitals in the Klang Valley, namely from 3,412 beds to 3,777 in Selangor and from 795 to 1,129 in Kuala Lumpur (KL) and Putrajaya.

For the ICUs, beds will be added from 280 to 349 in Selangor and from 90 to 117 beds in KL and Putrajaya.

Meanwhile, for emergency treatment, beds will be increased from 486 to 591.

This followed Dr Adham’s announcement that the government has allocated RM100 million for the purpose of outsourcing associated health services, particularly in the Klang Valley, to boost healthcare and managing patients.

In terms of oxygen supply, Selangor has 6,391 units of oxygen ports and tanks where consumption is at 53% or 3,413 units.

To increase oxygen supply at the Covid-19 Integrated Quarantine and Treatment Centre 2.0 at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang, 1,000 oxygen tanks and 1,000 oxygen concentrators have been added.

Dr Adham also noted that Malaysia has exceeded the indicator’s threshold value for second-dose immunisation, with 11.3% of the population having already completed the two doses nationwide.

“This month, another four million vaccination doses will be administered in Selangor, with the rest to follow as planned.”

Separately, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) will be enforced at the Projek Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) Lintas Sibuga in Sandakan, and Kampung Telaga and Kampung Pituru in Pitas, Sabah, as well as Felda Jengka 8 in Pahang from July 15 to July 28.

Meanwhile, EMCO in several areas will be lifted today namely Kampung Kubang Jela, Terengganu; Kampung Balung Cocos, Sabah; and PPR Pantai Ria and Taman Bukit Angkasa, KL.

Ismail Sabri also said the government has tightened enforcement at factories and business premises following the increase in standard operating procedure (SOP) violations.

On July 12, 67 factories, premises and construction sites were ordered to close for failure to obey the SOPs.