KUALA LUMPUR— Chinese Malaysians are more disciplined when it comes to following SOPs and good health practices than the Malays and ethnic Indians, the Health Ministry said in a report today.
The ministry representatives’ findings of a study titled “Excess Mortality During Covid-19 Pandemic in Malaysia”, also revealed that Chinese Malaysians were also the least likely to be infected by Covid-19 in the past two years of the pandemic.
Data collected from March 2020 to December 2021 showed that in the mid-2020s, all three major races showed high compliance to the 3Ws (Wear a mask, Wash your hands, Watch your distance) advocated to reduce Covid-19 infection risks, Malay Mail reported.
The Malays were at 96 per cent, Chinese 95.6 per cent while the Indians were at 94.3 per cent,” the study data showed. However, from early 2021 these practices started to get fatique and the Malays and Indians dropped to 74.7 per cent while the Chinese community was still at 84.8 per cent compliance.
The study also pointed out that obesity among Indian Malaysians are too high in comparison to the Malays and Chinese Malaysians, with the Indians highest at 29.3 per cent followed by the Malays 22.7 per cent and finally the Chinese community at 13.0 per cent.
“The obesity rate and NCDs such as diabetes and hypertension among the Chinese were also lower,” said Dr Shubash Shander Ganapathy, who heads the Institute of Public Health’s research centre unit.
The study also showed that the Covid-19 deaths rate among Malays was higher compared to the Chinese community during the pandemic.
Dr Shubash said this was due to a lower prevalence of non-communicable disease (NCD) risk factors and a better level of health practice among the Chinese.
Malays recorded a surplus of 11,158 fatalities compared to the Chinese community with -4,054 in excess mortality, followed by Indians at -565 and others at 1,375, he said, adding that based on the National Health Morbidity Survey, the Chinese community reported a higher level of health literacy throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.