Friday, June 11, 2021

Worrying trend of virus cases in Shah Alam as Selangor battles reputation as hardest hit state

The spike in cases across the state has left lingering questions about contact tracing efforts, among others.

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Statistics captured on Putrajaya’s contact tracing app MySejahtera are showing a worrying situation in Shah Alam, Selangor, the state hardest hit by Covid-19 and where the bulk of daily cases nationwide has been reported.

As of today, a total of 941 cases in the last two weeks had originated from 27 sections spread over the state capital.

The heavily populated areas of Section 19 and 23, a major industrial and commercial backbone in the city with fairly crowded residential areas, recorded a combined total of 212 cases in the last two weeks.

Other areas with worrying statistics include Section 10 with 66 cases, Section 11 (55 cases) and Section 12 (52).

The spike in Shah Alam is reflective of the overall Covid-19 situation in Selangor, which has been dominating daily numbers across the country.

The state recorded more than two-thirds of today’s 4,140 new cases.

The spike in Selangor has led to criticism of the state government’s Covid-19 task force helmed by former health minister Dzulkefly Ahmad, who has taken to social media to blame the high number of cases on federal authorities.

While Dzulkefly has cited a failure of the movement control order (MCO) as well as mass testing, exco member in charge of health Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud defended the state government from claims that its contact tracing measures had failed.

“Contact tracing is the job of the health ministry, not the Selangor government,” she said on Twitter amid a barrage of criticism from the public.

In February, MalaysiaNow revealed weaknesses in Selangor’s SELangkah, its own contact tracing app which it promoted vigorously in the early stage of the pandemic.

The app came under scrutiny following a spike in Covid-19 cases in the state, proportionately much higher than neighbouring Kuala Lumpur which dwarfs Selangor in terms of population density.

Suggestions that SELangkah was inferior drew angry reactions from Dzulkefly, who also claimed that Putrajaya had lagged behind the state in automatic contact tracing.

When contacted, meanwhile, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah was hopeful that the current MCO would be able to bring the case numbers down.

“We hope the MCO 3.0 intervention will control the spike and bring down the cases,” he told MalaysiaNow.

Farhira Farudin contributed to this report.

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