KUALA LUMPUR: Climate changes has caused the pattern of natural disasters to change and caused erratic flooding late last year and early this year which cost the country overall losses of RM6.1 billion, said Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin.

In a statement today on the Department of Statistics (DOSM)’s Conpendium of Enviornment Statistics 2022, he said the loss was equivalent 0.40 per cent of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at nominal price.

He said the conpendium also highlighted that the reopening of economic activities through the easing of the Moverment Control Order (MCO) and the implementation of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) had various effects on the environment last year such as the improvement of overall air quality in Malaysia.

“The overall Air Pollution Index (API) recorded “good” and “moderate” air quality status for 2021. API readings showed a decrease in the level of air pollutants, especially in major cities across the country due to lower air pollutant emissions from motor vehicles smoke, industrial chimney emissions and open burning activities,“ he said in the statement.

Futhermore, he said the increase in Covid-19 cases also increased the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and Covid-19 test equipment as well as the opening of new health facilities, quarantine and vaccination centres gave a direct impact on the management of clinical wastes.

“The quantity of clinical wastes grew 43.9 per cent in 2021 to 57.4 thousand metric tonnes as compared to 39.9 thousand metric tonnes in 2020,

Three states recorded the highest amount of clinical wastes namely Selangor which recoded 13,000 metric tonnes, Sarawak (8.3 thousand metric tonnes) and W.P. Kuala Lumpur (5.9 thousand metric tonnes,“ he said.

The conpendium also highlighted that the rate of road accident cases in Malaysia recorded a decrease of 11.5 per cent, a drop of 47,951 cases as compared to 2020 while the number of deaths due to road accident also decreased by 95 deaths to 4,539 deaths in 2021 as compared to 4,634 deaths the previous year.

Mohd Uzir also said DOSM is currently in the midst of conducting the Household Income, Expenditure and Basic Amenities Survey (HIES/BA) 2022 which will end on the Dec 31.

“DOSM greatly appreciates the cooperation given by selected respondents by sharing their information with DOSM to make the survey a success,“ he said. - Bernama