KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 — Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin needs to explain the exponential increase in Malaysia’s Covid-19 deaths this month, Opposition lawmaker Lim Kit Siang said today.

The Iskandar Puteri MP pointed out that the cumulative death toll has almost reached 10,000 since Khairy was appointed to the post last month.

“The health minister for a month, Khairy Jamaluddin, should not delay any longer and should explain Malaysia’s horrible Covid-19 death situation.

“In his first 31 days as new health minister since he was sworn in on August 30, the number of Covid-19 deaths stood at the humongous figure of 9,550,” Lim said in a statement.

According to the DAP veteran, this figure represents 73 per cent of the cumulative deaths due to Covid-19 and happened between August and September.

“In fact, the number of Covid-19 deaths in the second 14 days of Khairy’s tenure as health minister is higher than his first 14 days, taking into account that the incubation period of Covid-19 virus is 14 days although the Delta variant has shortened it to  four days,” he added.

Earlier this month, Khairy said that the high number of Covid-19 deaths reported daily does not reflect the actual number of fresh deaths that occur within 24 hours.

He explained that the numbers are sometimes piled up over several days as the authorities need time to confirm the cause of death, especially in places like the Klang Valley which also have a high Covid-19 vaccination rate.

Khairy said most of the backlog was a result of the high number of people brought in dead to hospitals, as their causes of death had to be investigated before they can be reported as a Covid statistic.