KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 -- Malaysia’s aggressive testing strategy: ‘test per million capita’ for COVID-19 has far exceeded its ASEAN peers and even several European nations, which could result in higher reported infection numbers and has given the confidence of milder development and mortality, JP Morgan said.
In a research note, it predicted the infection rate in Malaysia would peak in the middle of April at about 6,300 with the recent limitations on movement helped slow the spread and along with border controls should subdue secondary spread of the epidemic.
Other strong efforts include restricted entry for foreigners/ restrictions on Malaysians traveling abroad, closure of schools and colleges, bans on social gatherings, and shut down of shops except those dealing with daily essentials.
To date, Malaysia recorded 1,624 cases, of which 183 have recovered, while 15 people succumbed to the deadly virus that originated from Wuhan, China.
Expressing concerns of the epidemic entering the curve acceleration stage in Malaysia based on the observed doubling of infections recently, JP Morgan believes that phase will ebb within 1.5-two weeks before the accumulation stage, when the overall infection growth rate potentially slows to 100-250 day to day.
On Malaysia’s testing capability, it said the country’s ‘test per million capita’ is 482, 4x-81x higher compared with that of other ASEAN countries of six to 109 tests per million population and even higher than several European countries.
Malaysia’s mortality ratio is also lower at 0.77 versus global average of 4.4 per cent, it said, adding that at this stage, it sees the country’s mortality risk could be managed with milder development.
“Malaysia's current critical care beds are estimated at 1,060 (2017 data, per Registry of Intensive Care). Assuming about 10 per cent of the infected require intensive care, the Malaysian hospital capacity looks sufficient to manage mortality risk,” it said in a report entitled “Add Malaysia to Asia Infection Curve’.
JP Morgan said the country has the capacity to adsorb future hospital demand to a large degree.
Malaysian National News Agency
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