Malaysia may have flattened pandemic curve at end of MCO Phase 2, says Health DG

KUALA LUMPUR (April 15): As the nation approaches the third phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO) starting today, Ministry of Health (MoH) director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pictured) said the first two phases of the MCO may have achieved its objective of "flattening the curve".

Making a comparison with the projection made by JP Morgan Chase & Co last month, Noor Hisham said the MCO has definitely managed to record fewer Covid-19 cases compared with what was initially forecasted by the international investment bank.

"Today was supposed to be the peak [according to the prediction] but we have not seen a peak in terms of the graph, so perhaps we have managed to flatten the curve. Obviously, we have seen a lower number of cases compared to what was predicted," he told reporters yesterday during his daily briefing of the Covid-19 situation in the country.

"But, more importantly, more needs to be done. This is why we are monitoring it closely and hopefully the third phase of MCO will help us further," Noor Hisham added.

A report released by JPMorgan’s Asia-Pacific Equity Research group on March 23 projected that Malaysia will see a peak in Covid-19 cases at around mid-April, with 6,300 cases.

It projected that the peak period would last for about one-and-a-half to two weeks, before moving into the accumulation stage, when the overall infection growth rate would slow to 100 to 250 cases per day.

However, MoH reported that the tally of Covid-19 cases in the country currently stands at 4,987 — much lower than JPMorgan's forecast — following the addition of 170 new infections at noon today.

More encouragingly, 2,478 Covid-19 patients — representing 49.7% of total cases — have, to date, recovered from the illness.

This means that the number of active Covid-19 cases in the country now stands at 2,427, all of whom have been isolated and are currently receiving treatment.

Dr Noor Hisham previously said that the purpose of the MCO was to flatten the infection curve, which means to contain the total number of cases so that hospitals across the country would be able to cope with the inflow of patients.

This, however, does not mean that the number of infections would be brought down to zero.

Stay calm. Stay at home. Keep updated on the latest news at #stayathome #flattenthecurve

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