Sunday, May 30, 2021

Sabah election ‘seeded’ third Covid wave, study confirms

Sabah election ‘seeded’ third Covid wave, study confirms

The Sabah state election last year had resulted in an estimated 2,979 Covid-19 cases in the first few weeks after polling day, according to a new analysis published on Thursday.

This amounts to 70 percent of cases reported in the state from Sept 26 (polling day) until Oct 12 when the government began imposing the conditional movement control order in Sabah and several other states to curb the outbreak.

The number of cases varies from district to district and goes as high as 95.7 percent in Semporna, 79.5 percent in Tawau, and 96.7 percent in Lahad Datu.

Outside of Sabah, the study estimated that 64.4 percent of Covid-19 cases during that period can be attributed to spillover effects from the election, amounting to another 1,741 cases.

This brings the national total to 4,720 cases linked to the election in 17 days.

Most of these are in urban centres in Peninsular Malaysia such as Petaling district, Kuala Lumpur, and Johor, but all 114 districts outside Sabah that reported Covid-19 cases at the time experienced the spillover effect to some degree.

“We demonstrate that our estimates are not due to pre-existing epidemiological trends, surveillance efforts, and/or preventive policies. These estimates highlight the potential of mass gatherings in one region to spill over into an outbreak of national scale.

“Relaxations of mass gathering restrictions must therefore be carefully considered, even in context of low community transmission and enforcement of safe distancing guidelines,” the authors of the study wrote.

The study is based on computer modelling of the Covid-19 trends in Malaysia from March 22 to Oct 12, the latter date being the eve of the start of the conditional MCO being imposed on Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Selangor, and the whole of Sabah.

The study was performed by a group based mostly at the National University of Singapore’s Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, and which aimed to use the Sabah election as a case study to gauge how mass gatherings could lead to Covid-19 outbreaks.

Their paper is published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS Computational Biology.


  1. Singapore now laughing at us. But we already know. No surprise.

    1.Mahiaddin Appoints Idrus Harun as AG
    2.Idrus Harun drops all corruption charges against Musa Aman
    3.Musa Aman kacau-kacau Sabah Frogs, triggers elections
    4.Wave 3

  2. DG TAN SRI Noor Hisham should be sacked. Clueless and Spineless. Lives are at stake and he is still perplexed? He still does not know why Malaysians are leaving town when you give them 3 days notice of total lockdown?

    Simple suggestion - Set up vaccination centres at all rest stops on highways.

    1. Stop MASS testing. The virus has escaped. We already know that. We simply don't have enough resources for contact tracing (too many contacts lah). No need to scare everyone everyday with high numbers. Only test when showing symptoms, doctor recommend or recent contact with high risk.
    2. Adopt self-test kits instead. Already available overseas.
    3. There is NO NEED for large scale football stadium testing or vaccination centres. In fact they are super-spreader spots.
    4. Just distribute 3,000 vaccines to every GP clinic in every district in Malaysia. Vaccines that require super-low temperatures only from centres that have this freezing facility. Most other vaccines do not require this.
    5. Clinic can endorse/record the vaccination and send to MOH

    1. i brought my mum to sunway, the 12.00 session total is 3 row of 30 persons, add up the accompanying son or daughter, number is double to 180, its pack like sardin n i pray to God god jesus buddha monkey king brother guanyu n ganesha no virus in the hall, else we will be part of the useless dg statistic.

  3. Why no Malaysian study ?
    Too sensitive ?
    Bosses won't approve the research?

  4. What about that hariraya celebration that no one wants to talk about?

    The forth wave!