Malaysia: Where We Stand In The COVID-19 Pandemic

Where does Malaysia stand, exactly? (Sadie Teper/Unsplash)

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With the number of new daily COVID-19 cases in Malaysia remaining well above the 4,000 mark, the country is unable to move on to Phase 2 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP). A recent announcement concluded that the FMCO will be extended while financial aid and automatic moratoriums for all  will be made available to help those who’ve suffered badly from the ongoing lockdowns. In short, things aren’t looking too good in Malaysia, especially with news of increased suicide rates and attempts since the pandemic started. 

But where does Malaysia stand, exactly?

Recent news surrounding Singapore’s new approach to live with coronavirus might seem shocking, but this strategy is rational and justified considering the efficiency of their vaccination programme and other health measures that have been keeping the island’s COVID-19 situation under control. 

Meanwhile, the Philippines has announced pushing their goal of achieving herd immunity to early next year. President Duterte has even threatened citizens with possible jail time should they reject being vaccinated. 

On the topic of vaccination rates, despite Japan’s advancement in vaccinating a million people daily, the total of fully inoculated residents hovers at just slightly over 8% of its population. This intensifies other concern in Japan’s intent to pursue the Olympic games in spite of all the red flags. 

Sadly, Indonesia comes out tops with the highest number of COVID-19 cases and mortalities in Southeast Asia. Their peak daily cases hit over 20,000 on June 26. The emergence of new coronavirus strains – such as the Alpha, Beta, and Delta variants – are reported to be more contagious, and were a key contributor to the worsened situation. 

The surge of these variants, specifically the Delta one, that originated in India and is now spreading throughout Europe, have pushed the region to enforce tighter travel restrictions. Countries such as Portugal, Germany, and Spain are some countries that have made plans to adopt these renewed restrictions. 

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this news is that while things in Malaysia may look or feel bleak, we’re not alone in this fight. Other nations too have their fair share of worries and concerns despite more relaxed movement restrictions. If you feel that this ongoing lockdown is getting to you, please seek help at one of these mental health helplines and free resources. 

Leia is neither a princess nor a fan of Star Wars (which she hopes isn’t a deal breaker). Besides her consuming passion for writing and travelling, humanitarian works have always interested her. Standing true to her life motto “To give is to receive”, Leia believes true happiness is gained when it is shared. She dreams to retire in a cottage at the foothills of the Swiss mountains with her mother and become a florist.