PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has reached a grim milestone with the number of Covid-19 fatalities passing the 500-figure.
There were seven deaths yesterday (Monday, Jan 4), bringing the total to 501 out of the 120,818 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country.
According to an analysis of the Health Ministry’s figures, Sabah, Selangor and Johor are the top three states with the most deaths.
Sabah has recorded 270 deaths, while Selangor has 50 and Johor 40.
Incidentally, Sabah also has the most confirmed Covid-19 cases with 38,172 followed by Selangor (35,167) and the federal territory of Kuala Lumpur (14,364).
In terms of age, more than 80% of people who succumbed to the coronavirus were aged 50 and above.
For more details on fatalities not just by state and age, but also gender and nationality, do check out the interactive graphic below:
Malaysia has 15 deaths per one million population, which is well below the global average of 237.6 according to the Worldometer portal.
According to the portal, Malaysia currently ranks 156th out of 218 countries and territories in terms of deaths per one million population.
The following shows where Malaysia stands in terms of Covid-19 deaths per one million population in relation to other Asean countries:
The Health Ministry’s data also contains some information about the medical histories of most of the people who died from the coronavirus in Malaysia.
The following graphic shows their diseases and medical conditions:
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists certain underlying medical conditions which puts people at risk for severe illness from the virus that causes Covid-19.
Universiti Malaya epidemiologist Prof Datuk Dr Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud said studies have shown that older people and those who have certain pre-existing medical conditions are at greater risk if infected with the Covid-19 virus.
The medical conditions include cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and hypertension.
“A possible factor that may play a role in increasing the risk in people affected by diabetes and/or obesity is the impaired immune response in Covid-19.
“Respiratory failure is the most common cause of death, but blood coagulation issues may also contribute to deaths in Covid-19,” he said, adding that acute kidney injury is also common in Covid-19 deaths.
Dr Awang Bulgiba however noted that there is a lack of research on whether the same pattern can be identified among Malaysian patients, especially during the current third wave of the pandemic.
This is because published survival analyses on Malaysian Covid-19 patients are not readily available, he said.
He urged health authorities to share granular data on Malaysian Covid-19 patients with epidemiologists and statisticians so that a proper survival analysis can be done in order to identify the risk factors associated with Covid-19 deaths in the country.