Malaysia's COVID-19 cases could shoot up to almost 20,000 daily in the next two weeks, a virologist has warned.

Free Malaysia Today (FMT) quoted Universiti Sains Malaysia's Dr Kumitaa Theva Das saying that this is due to the spread of the more infectious Delta variant of the virus in the community.

She further warned that the number of deaths could also hit 200 a day, as the country's health system gets pushed to the brink.

"New variants rarely become more dangerous because they rely on humans to live.

"But they do evolve to transmit faster, which is what we are seeing now. We will see a higher number of deaths when the healthcare system is unable to cope," she told the portal.

According to Kumitaa, the Delta strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which caused COVID-19, spreads at a more rapid rate, such as it would take just one day to create five new cases, compared to its Beta counterpart, which takes four days to replicate five cases.

If the previous strain could transmit the virus from one person to two, the Delta variant would transmit to four people, she added.

In view of the rapid rise in cases, Kumitaa called for quicker isolation of COVID-19 positive cases.

"If there are no proper areas for COVID-19 positive people to be isolated, then that defeats the purpose of mass testing."

Malaysia has consistently recorded more than 11,000 new COVID-19 cases in the last two days. Yesterday, 11,079 new infections and 125 deaths were recorded, while a whopping 11,618 cases were recorded today.

There have been a total of 867,567 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country thus far.

The global coronavirus infection and death tally has surpassed 188 million, and 4.06 million, respectively.

Source: FMT
Photo source: South China Morning Post