It would take four to five weeks to reduce the daily number of COVID-19 cases to below 1,000, the Health Ministry has projected.

According to Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, the ministry will be able to gauge whether the number of new COVID-19 cases can be reduced within the two weeks of the Movement Control Order (MCO), currently in force in six state with the highest number of cases.

"We hope to reduce the number of cases to 1,000 or 500, within the next four weeks and flatten the curve in May, provided the public continues to adhere to standard operating procedures (SOPs) during MCO" the New Straits Times quoted Noor Hisham saying at a press conference yesterday.

A reduction in the number of cases will enable the overburdened health facilities to accommodate and treat COVID-19 patients, he added.

He cited the current scenario where the usage of ICU (Intensive Care Units) and ventilators for COVID-19 patients have doubled, compared to last month.

For example, the Sungai Buloh Hospital has the capacity to treat patients, but lacks the manpower to do so. The ICU at the hospital is also currently at full capacity, but could be expanded to have up to 110 beds.

Noor Hisham said the ministry will have a meeting with private hospitals today, for the latter to start accommodating both COVID-19 patients and non-COVID-19 patients.

Lately, Malaysia has been recording new COVID-19 cases in the four digits daily.

Yesterday, 2,985 new infections and four deaths were recorded, bringing the total number of infections and fatality in the country to 144,518 and 563, respectively.

The government has reimposed the MCO for two weeks, in six states, namely Selangor, Sabah, Penang, Johor, and the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan, starting Jan 13.

Another six states - Pahang, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan will be put under Condititional MCO (CMCO) while Perlis and most of Sarawak will be under Revovery MCO (RMCO) for the two-week period until Jan 26.

Following the MCO announcement, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin also announced that the government will also impose an emergency to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, until August 1, or until the outbreak is contained.

The emergency, however, will not see military rule, nor will there be curfew, the PM had clarified.

The global infection and death tally from the coronavirus has surpassed 92.7 million, and 1.98 million, respectively.

Source: NST
Photo source: Astro Awani