Malaysia’s 13th ranking in Nikkei Covid-19 Recovery Index due to strong public-private teamwork, says private hospital group
10 Jan 2022
The success of Malaysia’s National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) has been instrumental in Malaysia being ranked 13th in the Nikkei Covid-19 Recovery Index after nearly two years of battling the Covid-19 pandemic.
Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh said Malaysia’s success in the fight against Covid-19 was due to the involvement and quick collaboration between public, private and armed forces military healthcare.
“The well-organised vaccination process helped our country. The number of anti-vaccination groups in the country is not as high as other countries and we also managed to convert some of them and got them vaccinated,” he said when contacted by Bernama, today.
Besides that, Dr Kuljit noted that the robust MySejahtera app also contributed significantly in the country’s success against the pandemic.
According to the Nikkei Covid-19 Recovery Index as of December 31, 2021, Malaysia is ranked 13th with a total score of 66.5, with the top three countries being Bahrain with a total score of 82.0, Chile with 76.5 and Taiwan with at 75.5.
The Nikkei Covid-19 Recovery Index ranks about 120 countries or regions on infection management, vaccine rollouts and social mobility.
A higher ranking indicates a country or region is closer to recovery with low numbers of confirmed Covid-19 cases, better vaccination rates and less stringent social distancing measures; and the index’s data sources include Our World in Data, Google Covid-19 Community Mobility Reports, Oxford Covid-19 Government Response Tracker Cirium, and Nikkei Asia.
Meanwhile, Universiti Putra Malaysia epidemiologist Assoc Prof Dr Malina Osman, said the efforts of the Health Ministry (MOH), led by Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah and Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, using effective political strategy and epidemic management as well as the support of all agencies involved including community individuals are the main reasons behind the success.
She stressed that in public health, collective effort is most important and success cannot be achieved through individual achievement alone.
“I think that it is a great achievement, where the commitment of all parties ensured an optimum management of the Covid-19 pandemic, which enabled to the country to successfully implement its recovery plan.
“This is comparable with most other Asian countries. This commitment must be continued to curb cases and clusters and not hinder the recovery strategy,” she said.
Public health medicine specialist Dr Sanjay Rampal concurred, saying Malaysia was currently doing well with the daily reported cases being relatively lower and having a lower incidence rate than many other countries.
“We have been having lower baseline incidence rates over the past few weeks. This may be due to seasonal variation and the community immunity is still high from the past vaccination programme,” he added.
Dr Sanjay, who is also Professor of Epidemiology at Universiti Malaya, said the numbers in the coming months may continue to be low or it may increase due to a few factors such as the establishment of the Omicron strain as the predominant strain that is more transmissible than the Delta variant.
However, he was confident that it was unlikely for hospital services to be overwhelmed if the country proactively planned its Covid-19 services and worked together to include the whole society in combating Covid-19.
Dr Noor Hisham posted on Facebook last night that the Nikkei Covid-19 Recovery Index highlights a divide between Asia and the West, with many countries having a surge of cases involving the Omicron variant in a short period of time.
He also said Malaysia is now ranked sixth in the Global Covid Index (GCI), which was developed with input from various international bodies, including the World Health Organisation (WHO).