08/31/2021, 14.37
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Malaysia last in anti-COVID-19 fight

by Steve Suwannarat

The Bloomberg monthly report puts Malaysia last among 53 countries with a high or medium level of development. With over 1.7 million reported cases and 16,382 deaths, Malaysia’s pandemic figures are comparable to Japan’s despite having a population four times smaller.

Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews) – Malaysia ranks last among countries with a high or medium level of development in terms of its ability to respond to the pandemic, this according to Bloomberg's monthly report on 53 countries.

The results look at pre-existing socio-economic situation, the quality of medical and health services, vaccination coverage, overall mortality and the prospects for economic recovery.

Half of the Malaysian population has been vaccinated, but the number of infections is still high with a growing curve in a country with an uncertain political situation.

Although contained by the relative high quality of health care facilities and services, Malaysia’s situation has been affected by the harshness of the lockdowns and the collapse of air transport with 90.9 per cent of flights cancelled since the beginning of the year.

Vaccination campaigns as well as other awareness and containment initiatives have failed to prevent new infections.

When reopening began in July, the infection rate per 100,000 inhabitants was still one of the highest in the world, driven by the Delta variant.

An average 21,790 daily cases have been reported in the last seven days (roughly equal to Japan which has a population of 126 million against Malaysia’s 33 million), for a total of 1.725 million cases and 16,382 deaths, slightly more than in Japan.

These figures are significantly higher than those of neighbouring Thailand whose population is twice that of Malaysia.

The situation in Southeast Asia as a whole shows a substantial drop and a somewhat problematic recovery.

According to Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking, Thailand is in 49th place, Vietnam in 50th, Indonesia in 51st and the Philippines in 52nd. Singapore is instead in eighth place, closer to top-ranking Norway, the Netherlands and Finland.

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