Malaysia worst place to be for COVID-19 as delta variant spreads: study

Kuala Lumpur skyline. Photo: Esmonde Yong
Kuala Lumpur skyline. Photo: Esmonde Yong

Malaysia is apparently one of the worst places to be during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A Bloomberg monthly study placed Malaysia at the bottom of a list of 53 developed countries it judged based on quality of healthcare, vaccination coverage, overall mortality and the rate of reopening the economy. 

Malaysia has only vaccinated about half of its population of nearly 33 million since early this year. It got a satisfactory 67 points for healthcare coverage and a worrying 81 points for lockdown severity. Flight capacity is also down to -90.9%. 

The COVID Resilience Ranking looked at how the pandemic has affected the reputation of places that used to be among the best before the health crisis came into the picture more than a year ago. Findings showed stark shifts in the effects of the pandemic, especially in the past month, with the highly infectious mutation of the coronavirus slipping through strict border curbs in some places and denting the protection provided by vaccination in others. 

European countries Norway, followed by Netherlands and Finland conquered the top spots of the ranking while Southeast Asian countries took up the spots at the bottom, proving to be the new virus epicenter. Thailand is at No. 49, Vietnam at No. 50, Indonesia at No. 51, and the Philippines at No. 52. Singapore breaks the mold by taking the No. 8 spot. 

Despite covering nearly half of the population with vaccines and implementing reopening plans for the inoculated, new cases per 100,000 reported in Malaysia over the past month swelled to one of the highest in the world.

Other stories: 

Malaysia’s latest cabinet lineup includes new health minister, no deputy PM
Unvaccinated diners arrested after ‘social experiment’ at Malaysia restaurant

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