The number of new Covid-19 cases with serious symptoms will be used as a new indicator for transition into Phases Three and Four of the National Recovery Plan (NRP), its coordinating minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz said today.
He said this would replace the new cases indicator, using as proxy new hospital admission cases for Covid-19 adapted for Categories Three, Four and Five.
Having reached a vaccination rate of 40% among the adult population, he said the number of new Covid-19 cases had become less relevant as most cases were asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic (Categories One and Two), effectively reducing the burden on the public health infrastructure.
“However, the vaccination rate, as well as the ICU utilisation rate indicators will still be maintained,” he said in the 64th Report of the National Economic Implementation and Strategic Coordination Agency (Laksana).
Zafrul, who is also finance minister, said based on researched data and science, a high vaccination rate within the population helps reduce the number of serious symptomatic cases.
He said this trend was not only observed overseas, but in Sarawak and Labuan as well.
In line with the change in the key indicator for transition into Phases Two and Three, he said Perlis, Sarawak and Labuan had met the set threshold value, and successfully moved to Phase Three of the NRP.
“Perlis has already met all the previous threshold values to move to Phase Three, while Sarawak has achieved a vaccination rate of 63.7% of the adult population, surpassing the threshold value for Phase Four for the indicator, which is 60%.
“Although the number of Covid-19 cases in Sarawak is more than 300 a day, the number of cases per day identified in Categories Three, Four and Five is less than 10 cases, or 2% of the cases reported,” he said.
He said the situation in Labuan was recognised as a resounding success, as not long ago Labuan had experienced a dire situation with uncontrolled transmission rates.
With rapid and widespread vaccination efforts, however, new Covid-19 cases as well as ICU admissions had dropped significantly, he said.