Dr Noor Hisham: National Covid-19 infectivity rate stays at around 0.9, Melaka and Labuan top

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
·2-min read
Infographics included in Dr Noor Hisham’s tweet showed the national Rt value rose slightly from 0.87 recorded on Thursday, to yesterday’s Rt 0.9 reading. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Infographics included in Dr Noor Hisham’s tweet showed the national Rt value rose slightly from 0.87 recorded on Thursday, to yesterday’s Rt 0.9 reading. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — Despite the country’s Covid-19 infectivity rate remaining at an effective reproduction number (Rt) of roughly 0.9, six other states in the country still showed values higher than the national average, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said.

A tweet by the health director-general earlier last night showed Melaka and Labuan to have the highest Rt values of 1.09 and 1.08 respectively, followed by Kedah (1.06), Sarawak (1.05), Terengganu (1.04), and Penang (0.98).

The Rt value represents the average number of vulnerable people that each new Covid-19 patient could potentially infect, with a value of below 1.0 needed to successfully suppress the spread of the disease.

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Infographics included in Dr Noor Hisham’s tweet showed the national Rt value rose slightly from 0.87 recorded on Thursday, to yesterday’s Rt 0.9 reading.

The latest Rt value of 0.9 is the highest value seen so far throughout March.

The last time the Rt rate was higher than 0.89 was at March 1, while the biggest dip was observed on March 3 with a reading of 0.81.

States with Rt values lower than the national average were Kelantan and Kuala Lumpur both with 0.89 values, Selangor (0.87), Sabah (0.81), Putrajaya (0.75), Johor (0.71), Pahang (0.7), and Negri Sembilan and Perak who both shared an Rt value of 0.68.

Perlis, with no active cases, has a reading of zero.

The Health Ministry has recently opted to use Rt readings in place of basic reproduction number (R0), as the former provides a more useful benchmark for the quickness of the spread of Covid-19.

Malaysia yesterday recorded 1,576 new Covid-19 infections, with the cumulative case count now standing at 330,042 local infections.

So far, 314,457 patients were cured and discharged, with 14,360 active cases still under treatment.

A total of 1,225 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported, representing a fatality rate of 0.37 per cent.

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