Were you hoping that 2021 would give all of us a fresh start?
Well, sorry to shatter your dreams but it looks like we’re steadily heading down a dangerous dark abyss - COVID-19 wise.
Just yesterday (8 January), confirmed cases in the country hit the 3,000 mark.
We had 3,027 cases
yesterday alone, and more doom and gloom is headed our way if the trend continues.
In a Facebook post, Dr Noor Hisham said that it was pertinent that the country reduces the infectivity rate – known as R-naught (R0) - or numbers could go as high as 8,000 a day in March.
Below is that very scary Susceptible-Exposed-Infectious-Removed (SIER) model which Dr Noor Hisham shared.
The first graph predicts numbers if R0 is at 1.1 dan while the second shows the predicted numbers if the R0 is at 1.2.
The model basically is used to forecast daily cases based on the current trend.
What's R-naught again?
R0, pronounced as R-naught, is a value used to indicate how infectious a disease is.
According to healthline.com
, the R0 is also known as the reproduction number.
"R0 tells you the average number of people who will contract a contagious disease from one person with that disease.
"It specifically applies to a population of people who were previously free of infection and haven’t been vaccinated.
"For example, if a disease has an R0 of 18, a person who has the disease will transmit it to an average of 18 other people," the website states.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Health
(MOH) states that the higher the R0 value, the more people will get infected.
MOH goes on to say that the R0 value can also indicate if measures taken, including preventive measures, are effective or not.
At the start of the Movement Control Order (MCO) in March, the R0 value stood at 3.5.
The value was then lowered to 0.3 but on 7 September 2020, the value increased to 1.7.
That's when we saw an increase in areas which were under the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO), Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) etc.
The R0 now stands at 1.2.
The only way is to break the chain
In his Facebook post, Dr Noor Hisham also stated that we have to work together to bring the R0 down.
"We must reduce the Ro / Rt infection to 0.5. in order to break the chain of infection and prevent further contaigion in the country," he wrote.
It's a very short post but with a scary message, you guys.
Just look at that graph again and understand that if we don't all work together, things are just going to get from bad to worse for Malaysia.
What can you do?
The last thing everyone wants is a complete lockdown.
It's going to ruin our economy and cause so much chaos.
So, to help, all you need to do is take care of yourself. Practice all the SOP like your life depends on it (cause, hello, it does!).
Wash your hands regularly, use sanitisers especially when you touch common surfaces, wear a mask when you go out, stay away from crowded areas, practice good cough and sneeze etiquette and if you're sick and have COVID-19 symptoms, GO AND GET YOURSELF CHECKED.
Remember, those numbers represent people.
People who have a higher chance of dying if they contract COVID-19.
So, lets do our best to keep the numbers down.
We can do this!