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COVID Monthly Report - March 2021

Updated: Apr 21, 2021

Period : June 2020 – March 2021

Date : 10th Apr 2021

Researcher : Esther Low

Global total new COVID cases by month

In the month of March, 15.2 million new COVID cases were reported globally, a 1 million increase from February 2021’s reported cases. Vaccination efforts ongoing in countries hit the hardest by COVID-19, such as the US, UK and Europe, has helped reduced the spread explaining the lower reported cases in February and March. However, it would still be too early to say that the world has COVID-19 under control as globally some countries are experiencing a new wave of COVID infections as well as the emergence of new variants.

A day after the European Medicines Agency said that there was a possible link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a rare but dangerous blood-clotting disorder, governments have been giving varying advice on the AstraZeneca vaccine. In Spain, only residents above 60 can get the vaccine while in the UK, authorities recommend that the shot should not be given to adults under 30. The uncertainty in the reaction towards the vaccine would likely setback the vaccination plans of many countries who have secured a portion of the vaccine.

The surge of reported cases in India is concerning as the country is a vaccine manufacturing hub producing over 60% of the world’s vaccine demand. Right now, the AstraZeneca vaccine is manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. Due to the spike in cases, India has started curtailing exports of vaccines to prioritize vaccinating its own population despite global outcry.

Number of total new COVID cases by month for Malaysia

According to the official figures provided by the Malaysian health ministry, the number of COVID-19 cases has been reducing daily to an average of 1,400 new cases per day for the month of March. With the COVID-19 spread now seemingly back under control, this reduces the risk of more sudden economic lockdowns in Malaysia. The Malaysian officials have since announced a Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) starting 5th of March however inter-state travel restrictions remains. The CMCO is scheduled to end on April 14.

In comparison to some of its ASEAN neighbours, Malaysia has fared much better in handling the COVID-19 crisis. Indonesia and Philippines reported an average of 5,500 daily cases for the month of March 2021. The rest of the ASEAN countries especially Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam have done remarkably better in handling the COVID-19 spread with Thailand reporting only 2,855 cases in March while Singapore and Vietnam both reported less than 500 cases for the entire month.

Number of total new COVID deaths by month for Malaysia

With the movement control order measures, Malaysia has managed to control the outbreak of the COVID-19 cases. The number of total new COVID deaths in the month of March has also reduced as well.

Following a similar trend to the number of cases, Malaysia reported a lower number of COVID related deaths as compared to its neighbours’ Indonesia and Philippines. Meanwhile, Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand had a significantly lower COVID related deaths, at less than 10 new COVID deaths for the month of March 2021.

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