Malaysia was one of the few countries that received international praise for its effectiveness in containing the spread of the pandemic back in April. Singapore at that time, was struggling to contain its rising spread.
However despite starting out really well, Malaysia is now suffering from yet another wave of contagion that is expected to last a while.
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The new wave, which hit in September, has now surpassed an average of over 500 cases daily. Back in April – August, the highest number of daily cases ever reached was only 277 cases.
While the cause of the sudden spread is still unclear, many believe a large part of the infections can be attributed to the Sabah elections, as well as people refusing to quarantine after returning to West Malaysia from infected areas.
A large number of people have also been taking the pandemic very lackadaisically, failing to wear masks and adhere to social distancing protocols.
Singapore on the other hand, started with a surge in early April, recording a peak of 1426 cases on 20 April 2020.
Much of the surge in Singapore was due to foreign workers in dormitories — a lower income population who were living predominantly in crowded quarters.
However after months of battling, the Singaporean government managed to keep the situation under control with strict social distancing measures.
Right now, the number of daily cases in Singapore averages below 10 a day.
Since Malaysia’s surge in cases 2 weeks back, the government has imposed targeted lock-downs in various cities, namely Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Sabah, and Kedah.
Health professionals are estimating that the situation in Malaysia’s capital will take at least 8 weeks before it starts improving, which could mean tighter security and movement control restrictions if the situation does not improve.
With the country’s unstable political situation and rising number of cases, the aftermatch could be devastating to businesses, and ultimately the nation’s economy.