The Covid-19 situation in Malaysia continues to deteriorate with cases reaching an all-time high on the 15th of July at 13,215. A milestone Malaysians did not want to achieve, crossing into 5 digits was something most hoped would be avoided. Despite the movement control order, strict targeted lockdowns and an increase in vaccination rates, the cases kept climbing until a slow decrease started showing in the past few days with today totalling at 10,972. Malaysians everywhere have grown impatient to the slow improvement and are rightfully demanding answers to some burning questions:
1- WHY have the cases not decreased despite the MCO?
2- WHY haven’t factories been shut down despite the majority of the cases coming from there?
3- WHEN will the lockdown end?
4- WHY are cases still going up despite such high vaccination rates?
5- WHO is going to be accountable for the mishandling of this pandemic?
6- HOW are people going to be supported through this time?
Even though the government has given answers to some of these questions, they have not satisfied the rakyat at the grassroots level. They explain that the increase in cases is due to the increase in testing. Although this may be true, it still does not give an explanation as to what is causing the continuous growth. With this time being our lowest lows as a country and the highest highs in cases, we have still yet to receive a satisfactory statement from the government providing some guidance to the people.
Hope is dwindling, the economy is crashing and people are dying from Covid at an alarming rate. If the situation does not improve in the next couple of weeks, Malaysia is said to be in the uncharted waters of a failed nation. Many of the rakyat are severely affected and this is clearly seen in the Bendera Putih initiative where volunteers are coming back with stories of how so many people are really desperate for basic necessities, as jobs have been lost and there does not seem to be a solution in sight. The state of mental health among the rakyat is definitely being challenged and we are seeing unprecedented numbers of suicides.
Despite the fact that the government has been providing statistics showing that most cases are asymptomatic to low symptoms, the daily death rate has still been over 100 a day on average. The rakyat’s lack of confidence in the government is ever-present, and understandable, given the severity of the situation.
With the new Delta variant scare of a high infection rate, the only solution seems to be vaccination and this has been increasing within the country with 14,347,285 being given at least their first dose. A plan is set in place to ramp up the vaccinations with hopes that this will cause a significant downturn in the daily cases. We can see the improvement in the daily numbers of vaccinations of all those who have signed up, even opening up walk-in vaccination for all Malaysians over 60. The next challenge will be to address all the Malaysians who have not signed up for vaccination especially in the rural areas.
The weeks to come are going to be vital for both the government and the people.