Similar pattern of cases in Malaysia and Italy, says research group

(Refsa chart)

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s pattern of recorded Covid-19 cases has shown similarities to that of Italy’s in the early days of the public health crisis, according to a research body.

The Research for Social Advancement Centre (Refsa) said in a Facebook posting that although there had been smaller increases in the number of new cases, many of them had yet to be traced and tested.

“In order to avoid drastic increases in cases, it is important to practise social distancing and stay home in order to flatten the curve before it’s too late. We must do everything we can to prevent Malaysia going the ‘Italian way’,” Refsa said.

The government has placed restrictions on travel and movement of people, urging Malaysians to stay home until March 31.

Refsa published a chart comparing the number of recorded Covid-19 cases from both Italy and Malaysia.

Malaysia recorded 1,030 cases at March 20, about a week after the prime minister reported a “second wave” of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This was nearly similar to Italy’s experience, of 1,694 cases on March 1, about a week after reporting an explosion in the numer of coronavirus cases on Feb. 23.

As of March 20, Italy has recorded a staggering 47,000 Covid-19 cases and has the highest death tally for the disease in the world at over 4,000 people.

More than 60 million people are currently living under an increasingly tougher lockdown, as the nation struggles to curb the pandemic.