A YEAR ago, there were only 337 COVID-19 cases recorded nationwide for the month of July, which averaged less than 11 cases per day. We were then under the recovery movement control order (RMCO) that had replaced the conditional MCO on June 10.
But what a difference a year makes! For this July, COVID-19 infections rocketed to 244,144 cases in just 24 days, or an average of 10,184 per day.
What is even more shocking were those registered on July 23 with 15,573 cases, and on July 24 with 15,902 that set a new record.
In contrast, the number of cases over nine months from January to September last year totalled only 11,224 or 41 per day. However, after the Sabah state election on September 26, infections rose steeply to an average of 656 daily in September, 1,138 in November and 1,526 in December.
And after lifting interstate travel restrictions for year-end holidays, cases rose further to 3,289 daily in January this year and 3,064 in February. Mercifully, it dropped to an average of 1,443 daily in March but went up to 2,107 in April.
After Ramadan bazaars were allowed to operate in addition to night markets, infections shot up to 5,279 in May, resulting in a full nationwide lockdown from June 1. But it did not stop cases rising to an average of 5,987 daily in the month of June.
But what was inexplicable were the extremely high number of cases this month. If the momentum of infections is not slowed, we will be clocking the second million cases in just two months by end of September, whereas it took 18 long months to reach the first million.
From January 12 this year, we were told that the country was placed under a state of emergency to curb the spread of COVID-19, but infections are now charging uncontrollably like a runaway train, which could only be stopped if there is strong political will to save our nation.
But instead, our politicians have been busy fighting for privileged positions or holding on to power for selfish reasons at the expense of the rakyat. Instead of an all-out war against COVID-19, we have been engaging in protracted battles on piecemeal basis with no end in sight
Sadly, the loss of lives and livelihoods have led to untold sufferings and miseries for citizens and foreign workers in our midst.
Locally, hundreds of billions of ringgit have been wiped off causing many businesses to collapse and our economy is about to go under like a sinking ship. – July 25, 2021
YS Chan is Asean Tourism Master Trainer for travel agencies, master trainer for Travel & Tours Enhancement Course and Mesra Malaysia (both programmes under Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture). He is also a tourism and transport industry consultant and writer.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.