How about the DG of the Transport Ministry appearing on TV once in a blue moon to give us updates on grisly deaths from road accidents, and reminding drivers to fasten their seat belts.
Malaysian data collection on individuals testing positive for the novel coronavirus began on March 9.
Our first Covid death was on March 17.
To date, there has been 221 deaths from Covid or ‘co-morbidities’, according to the table updated daily at the Ministry of Health Facebook.
The stats thus far have covered a period of 210 days. This averages out to one (1.05) Covid death a day.
Malaysia recorded 25,742 Covid cases as of yesterday. Of these, a total 16,555 have made a recovery.
Now let’s look at the injuries and fatalities on the road in Malaysia. Data for year 2018 (above) is taken from the Department of Statistics. There were a total 6,284 road accident deaths.
The 221 deaths for Covid covers a period of seven-and-a-half months while the number of deaths on the road is collated for a full year but we can similarly average the road accident deaths on a per day basis. Death from coronavirus is still but a small fraction of death from murderous traffic.
The number of Malaysians nationwide who have died of Covid to date is roughly equal to the total number of people who died in Negeri Sembilan from road accidents in 2018 over a similar duration of seven-and-a-half months.
In 2018, there were 548,598 cases of road accident reported to police. Of these, 6,284 resulted in death while 8,341 resulted in injuries.
Traffic accident deaths this year may turn out to be lower than the high figure initially forecast by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) statistical modeling. This is due to the Covid lockdown taking vehicles off the road because of movement restriction.
Nonetheless, total deaths each year on Malaysian roads even in the early 1970s – counted in absolute numbers – was five times more than the number of deaths from Covid currently in Malaysia.
BELOW: More cases being detected but relatively fewer deaths
Reckless driving on M’sian roads is contagious too
Admittedly, traffic accidents are way more widespread whereas the virus infection is also much more lethal. But as human populations move closer to ‘herd immunity’, Covid is becoming less deadly.
The case fatality rate is shown to be falling with each subsequent wave. With the improvement in medical treatment today compared to the first quarter of 2020, more patients admitted to critical care are making a recovery in contrast to during the earlier phase of the pandemic.
BELOW: The Malaysiakini subscriber comment at 9:05pm is an outlier while the comment calling a sick man “slippery SOB (son of a bitch)” timestamped 10:45pm is very typical of the portal’s readers
Note: I don’t recall pro-Harapan Malaysians expressing any sympathy for Donald Trump when the president (his advanced age and overweight puts him in the vulnerable category of patients) caught the Wuhan virus.
From this show of indifference and callousness – many Malaysians were wishing Trump suffering and death – I’m perhaps not wrong to surmise that public concern is selective.
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