This study has highlighted the trend of recently-reported dengue cases after the implementation of the Movement Control Orders (MCOs) caused due to COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia. The researchers used the dengue surveillance data published by the Malaysian Ministry of Health during the 3 phases of MCO (which ranged between 17th March 2020 and 28 th April 2020) was used for determining the cumulative number of dengue patients. Thereafter, the dengue cases were mapped using the Geographical Information System (GIS). The results indicated that during the 42 days of MCO in Peninsular Malaysia, 11,242 total cases of dengue were reported. The daily trend of the dengue cases showed a decrease from 7268 cases that occurred before the MCOs to 4662 dengue cases that occurred during the initial 14 days of the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e., MCO I), to 3075 cases occurring during the MCO II and 3505 dengue cases noted during MCO III. The central peninsular region showed a maximal decrease in new dengue cases (52.62%), followed by the northern peninsular region (1.89%); eastern coastal region (1.25%) and the southern peninsular region (1.14%) during the initial MCO implementation. However, an increase in the new dengue cases was noted during the MCO III period, wherein all states showed an increase in the new dengue cases as compared during MCO II. The decrease in the pattern was not solely based on the MCO, hence, further investigation is necessary after considering different influencing factors. These results have important implication for future large-scale risk assessment, planning and hazard mitigation on dengue management.
Dengue has been described as a “silent killer” amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The MCOs implemented by the Malaysian government to break the COVID-19 infection chain have positively affected the onset of new dengue cases.
The highest reduction of new dengue cases were reported in the central peninsular region (52.62%), followed by the northern peninsular region (1.89%), eastern coastal region (1.25%) and the southern peninsular region (1.14%).
New dengue cases increased during the MCO3 period, with the increase of reported dengue cases in all states in Peninsular Malaysia.