We are pretty sure a lot of Malaysians are waiting, with bated breath, to see if the government would ease the interstate travel ban so that they could spend the Hari Raya celebrations at their kampung
Well, it seems that we've got our answer now.
Numbers are still high
The Ministry of Health will advise the government against allowing interstate travel during the Aidilfitri period.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba told Astro Awani
that the decision was made after observing the number of daily active cases, which is still at worrying levels.
"Many parties have asked the government to allow interstate travels for Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
"However, the Ministry of Health suggests that interstate travels to be postponed. This is because of the new COVID-19 strain that has been found in the community and the national vaccination programme is still ongoing," he was quoted as saying.
On Monday (12 April), Health DG Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah warned that the number of COVID-19 cases in the country are slowly increasing again.
In a posting tweeted on Saturday (10 April) night, Dr Noor Hisham shared two graphs: a forecast of the weekly active cases and Rt infectivity rate.
"The basic data and facts speak for themselves," Dr Noor Hisham wrote.
The basic data and facts speak for themselves. pic.twitter.com/qhtBovdubB
— Noor Hisham Abdullah (@DGHisham) April 10, 2021
Based on the charts, the number of weekly cases has jumped from 8.968 in Week 13 to 9,507 in Week 14. The number of weekly cases have seen a slight increase since Week 12 (8,929).
Meanwhile, the Rt infectivity rate chart shows that the country is still struggling to bring the infectivity rate down.
The current infectivity rate as of 11 April stands at 1.06, which is far off the 0.8 target and is hitting slightly above the forecasted trajectory for non-compliance to SOP.
Kadar kebolehjangkitan Covid-19 atau Ro/Rt pada jangkaan mengikut kes seharian pada 11 HB April 2021 untuk seluruh negara adalah 1.06. Manakala pecahan mengikut negeri adalah seperti di lampiran. pic.twitter.com/zOZTizwj9U
— Noor Hisham Abdullah (@DGHisham) April 12, 2021
New COVID-19 strain
On Wednesday (14 April), the Ministry of Health revealed that they have identified
17 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases with the South African B.1.351 variant, which is said to be more contagious.
These infections were reportedly came from three clusters in Selangor.
According to the MOH, the first B.1.351 variant case was detected among two staff working at a Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)-based company on 18 March, with another from the Kebun Baru cluster.
This could be a source of alarm for the MOH, as a new study
in Israel revealed that the B.1.351 strain could "break through" the protection provided by the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine compared to the original strain.
With our life hanging in the balance, we feel that maintaining the travel ban is the right move at the moment.