PUTRAJAYA: The main solution to Malaysia’s worsening Covid-19 situation is vaccination, says Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
The Health director-general said this was proven with the decreasing number of hospital admissions among those who had been fully vaccinated.
If the country could maintain its rate of administering 450,000 doses a day for the next two months, he said Malaysia would be able to see the number of Covid-19 deaths and hospitalisation fall.
“We can beef up our hospital staffing by mobilising health workers from other states and increasing equipment, but this only serves as a buffer. It is not a solution.
“The solution is to decrease the number of cases. To decrease cases, you need to increase the vaccination rate.
“This is proven with our health workers who have been vaccinated.
“Among our health workers who had received two vaccination doses, 2,779 were infected after that.
“A majority of them are Category 1 and 2 who have mild or no symptoms. Only three people are in Category 3, and three in Category 4.
“If people only have mild or no symptoms, you only need to be isolated at home and this can reduce the number of hospital admissions,” Dr Noor Hisham said at a press conference yesterday.
He said data from other countries that had started vaccinating earlier in the year had shown the ability to reduce Covid-19 hospitalisation.
“We have seen how in countries like the United Kingdom, when 40% of the population have been vaccinated, their numbers fall.
“If we can maintain our rate of vaccinating 450,000 people in a day for the next month or two, we can get to 40% quickly.
“From then, we can see the number of hospitalisation and ICU admissions go down,” he said.
On the current infection surge in the Klang Valley and Negri Sembilan, Dr Noor Hisham said this was expected due to the increase in Covid-19 mass screening.
“Besides that, the presence of the highly contagious Delta variant in the community is also a factor.
“We projected that the number of cases from July 3 will increase. This has been a week, and we anticipate that it will go up for a week or two, before cases will stabilise.
“With our lockdown measures, we saw our cases go down from 9,000 to around 4,000, but suddenly it has gone up again.
“One of the reasons is because of the Covid-19 Delta variant, which has an infectivity rate of 5 to 8 in R0 value.
“In comparison, the Wuhan variant had an R0 value of 2.2 to 3.
“This means that if the Delta variant infects 100 people, it could spread to 800 more. It is also airborne and so the transmission is faster.
“Therefore, people are encouraged to wear double masks or face shields.
“Avoid crowded areas because if someone in the crowd is positive, the virus can spread quickly,” said Dr Noor Hisham.