Health D-G: Malaysians can prove JPMorgan and MIER wrong if they abide by MCO

Azril Annuar
Petaling Jaya residents hold up a ‘#stayathome’ sign during the movement control order March 22, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — Malaysians have the chance to prove leading international financial services house JPMorgan and local research firm Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) wrong regarding their prediction of Malaysia’s Covid-19 infection rate, said Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The Health director-general told the daily press briefing on the Covid-19 pandemic that if Malaysians adhere to the movement control order (MCO) and stay at home, the rate of infection can be reduced while bringing the number of infected to below 5,000.

“If you look at the prediction from JPMorgan, the peak will be in mid-April of around 6,300 cases. If you look at MIER, their prediction is much higher — around 8,900 cases.

“But it all depends on us and the public now. We can work together as one and heed the message of the prime minister. Everyone can play a role, as I said.

“If you can stay at home, break the chain of infection and we can reduce the infection rate. We will be much better than the prediction of JPMorgan or MIER. So, if we can bring the number of infections to below 5,000, then I think we can achieve our goal,” said Dr Noor Hisham.

He added that the fate of Malaysia over the next two weeks lies not only on the shoulders of the Health Ministry (MOH) or government, but most importantly, its population and their ability to cooperate with the government’s directive.

When asked whether or not he thinks the prediction from the two research firms were accurate, Dr Noor Hisham said that only time will tell but the ministry will do its best to bring down the number of cases.

“Everyone at the MOH is working round the clock to make sure we can deliver and bring down the cases and perhaps prove that this prediction is not right,” said the Health director-general.

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