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True picture of Covid crisis now being seen, says think tank

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is paying the price for under-testing for Covid-19 infections, says a think tank, adding the “real picture” on the ground is only now coming to light.

Azrul Mohd Khalib, who heads the Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy, told FMT this is why it is unsurprising that the infectivity rate continues to rise despite the total lockdown.

In fact, the infectivity rate, or R0/RT, rose from 1.07 on June 1 when the total lockdown came into force to 1.13 as of yesterday.

“We are starting to see what the epidemic really looks like. Malaysia has based its assumption of the situation on reported case numbers, and this has given us an inaccurate picture of what’s happening on the ground.

“It is clear that cases have been under-reported. Now, as more testing is being done, we know the majority of the cases are sporadic and not linked to clusters.”

Azrul said this indicates that the lockdown strategy has done very little to curb the spread of the virus because it was already in the community.

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