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COVID Monthly Report - August

Period : September 2020 – August 2021

Date : 4 th Sep 2021

Researcher : Esther Low


Summary


Covid-19 cases is on the rise again globally as parts of Asia, US and Europe are experiencing

a spike in daily cases. In Malaysia, a total of 632 thousand cases were reported in the month

of August with an average of 246 deaths reported daily. Despite the rising cases, COVID-19

restrictions are slowly being lifted for those fully vaccinated. However, we still see fearful

sentiments in consumers and businesses who are mindful of their customer and

employee’s health. This cautiousness is well founded due to the higher number of deaths

versus infection rates. We foresee in the coming months, businesses will have to tackle

customers and employees who are mindful of their health.




Global total new COVID cases by month

Globally, new COVID-19 cases have been rising again since June 2021, with most of Asia,

Europe and US seeing a spike in cases due to the Delta variant. In August, COVID cases has

increased from 15.6 million cases to 19.8 million cases. In USA, number of caseses rise for

the third consecutive month, reporting 4.219 million cases in August alone. In Asia,

Philippines reported a surge from 176 thousand cases in July to 400 thousand cases in

August while Thailand doubled its number of cases from 337 thousand in July to 607

thousand cases in August 2021.



Number of total new COVID cases by month for Malaysia

In Aug, Malaysia recorded an all-time high of 632,982 new COVID cases, the highest ever

number of cases with an average of 20,419 cases daily. This is the fourth month in a row

that Malaysia has recorded an all-time high in cases. To date since the start of the

pandemic, Malaysia has now recorded 1.736 million COVID cases. As of 1 st June 2021, the

Malaysian government has declared an FMCO or total lockdown which has since been

extended indefinitely.



Total new COVID deaths by month for Malaysia

In tandem to the increase in COVID cases for the past four months, the number of COVID

deaths hit a record high of 7,640 with a reported daily average of 246 deaths. This has

brought the cumulative number of COVID deaths in Malaysia to 16,537.



Total vaccines administered by month globally


As of August, a total of 5.339 billion shots were administered globally. Countries and

regions that were quick in vaccinating its population enjoyed a brief summer respite where

travel bans, dining in at restaurants and bars were lifted for those fully vaccinated.

However, these regions namely the UK, US, Australia and Europe have started to tighten

restrictions and clamp down again amid fears over the rapid spread of Delta variant. The

rise in cases despite the rapid vaccination of its population in these countries shows us that

COVID is here to stay for a long time.



Total vaccines administered in August for Malaysia

Vaccination rollout in Malaysia hit record high with 13.825 million doses administered in

the month of August. Malaysia has picked up the pace on its vaccination plans by opening

more vaccination centers and allowing walk in vaccinations. The country has achieved an

average of 445k shots per day in August. Although the Malaysian government has been

cautious in the rollout of Pfizer vaccinations for those between 12-18 previously, there are

growing calls for the country to vaccinate teens against COVID-19.



Total number of people fully vaccinated for Malaysia

As of 31 st August, the total number of people fully vaccinated in Malaysia is 15.03 million,

double of the total number of people fully vaccinated at the start of the month. If the

current pace of vaccination is maintained at 445 thousand shots per day Malaysia is

projected to achieve herd immunity by end September.



% of death rate versus new cases


The UK and Israel provide an interesting glimpse of the new normal when we compared

the percentage of death rates versus new cases. We investigated both countries as they

have achieved at least 60% of their population fully vaccinated and reopened their

economy during the summer where travel and dine in restrictions were lifted. This has

caused a surge of COVID-19 cases in July however the percentage of death rate remains low at 0.4-0.5% which could be attributed to the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines which

reduces hospitalization and mortality rates in COVID-19 patients.



% of death rate versus new cases in Malaysia

In comparison to countries such as UK and Israel where vaccination programs were carried

out earlier and rapidly, we do not see the same trend in Malaysia who has ramped out

vaccinations starting June onwards. Malaysia has at least 45% of its total population fully

vaccinated (65% of 18 and above) and is projected to achieve 80% of its population

vaccinated by end September to early October.


Despite being in a lockdown for most of May and June, the percentage of death rate in

Malaysia spiked from a low of 0.26% at the end of April to 1.39% in early June before

hovering in the range of 1 – 1.4% up till today. This translates to a higher number of deaths

even as vaccination rates were ramped up during this period and lockdown restrictions

remain.


The reason for this increase is unclear, and whether it is a data issue, a health care issue, or

something else, it obviously points to a negative trend. In comparison to the UK and Israel where the percentage of death rates remained at 0.3-0.5% even with their economy mostly

reopened, the coming weeks do not look as good for Malaysia.


Malaysia has started slowly reopening its economy in August by allowing more businesses

to operate and lifting restrictions for those fully vaccinated. However, there is still a lot of

wariness in Malaysian consumers and business owners to adhere to the lifting of COVID-19

restrictions. This fear is well founded as the higher number of death rates versus new cases

backs this sentiment.


This cautiousness in consumers is translated into stricter implementation of SOPs in malls

and in companies to protect their businesses and to create a sense of confidence in

consumers and employees. For example, some major shopping malls in the Klang Valley

has restricted entries to only those who are fully vaccinated and at low risk. In the coming

months businesses need to be ready to tackle consumers and employees, who are,

rightfully, mindful of their health.

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