Malaysia will treat Covid-19 as an epidemic disease by the end of October according to the country's International Trade and Industry Ministry Mohamed Azmin Ali Tuesday. Covid will be declared endemic if the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the disease, becomes a constant presence in the community and circulates among the people. Malaria, dengue, and influenza are all endemic. Malaysia is struggling to contain a rise in Covid-19 cases every day, leading the government to issue multiple rounds of lockdowns. Last month, the country's central banking downgraded its projection for 2021 economic growth from 6% to 7.5% to 3% to 4.4%. However, Malaysia's economy is resilient thanks to better external demand and ongoing infrastructure projects. Azmin, who is also a senior minister in this government, stated that the recovery has been strong.
The minister stated that vaccine accessibility and affordability are key factors for ensuring sustained economic recovery to CNBC's "SquawkBox Asia." Azmin said that more than 75% of Malaysian adults will be fully vaccinated before the end-of-October. According to data, 88% of adults, or 63%, have received at least one doses of Covid vaccine. Last week, Khairy Jamaluddin, the Health Minister of Malaysia, stated that some social-distancing measures will be simplified by the Malaysian government in order to avoid a Covid epidemic. He said that face masks are still required to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Global supply chains
The more transmissible delta variant of Covid-19 has led to a rise in Covid-19 cases in Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. According to Joseph Incalcaterra (HSBC chief economist for ASEAN), Southeast Asia plays a significant role in the global manufacturing supply chains, especially in key apparel and semiconductors.