MOH Frontliners May Get Break Soon After Working 24/7

Ministry of Health (MOH) staff have been working day and night for five months, says the Health DG.

KUALA LUMPUR, May 5 — Public health care workers may soon get time off from work amid a decline in Covid-19 cases, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said today.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah noted that new coronavirus cases have declined, including the number of Covid-19 patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) and wards.

MOH today reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, as well as 24 patients in ICU and eight on ventilator support.

“Frontliners and MOH have been working day and night for five months now, regardless of whether it is the weekday or the weekend,” said Dr Noor Hisham at a press conference, when asked to comment on frontliners’ health.

“Maybe at this time, we will give time off to the MOH employees in about one or two weeks and also to provide them with counselling services, so they can maintain their individual health just in case a spike in cases happens.”

Malaysia has successfully flattened the epidemiological curve of Covid-19 infection through the first implementation of a two-week Movement Control Order (MCO) on March 18 and the numerous extensions that came after, lasting seven weeks. The latest Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) — which allowed most businesses to resume operations and permitted individuals freedom of movement within states — was implemented on May 4 and is set to end on May 12.

“This has been a challenge for all frontliners and employees at MOH. We are the final defence to prevent a huge loss for our country by limiting the number of deaths and new cases.

“We may revisit in a week or two to re-strategise our workforce, equipment, hospitals, laboratories, and public health,” said Dr Noor Hisham.

When asked to provide an update on the rapid Covid-19 test kits from South Korea, MOH announced that 50,000 rapid antigen test kits were received today, where 10,000 were distributed to Sabah, 10,000 to Sarawak, 15,000 to Johor, and 15,000 to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) 1 and 2.

“(The personnel) have received samples today for training, and we will get the result by today or tomorrow,” said the DG.

He also added that MOH should be receiving another 100,000 rapid antigen test kits by the end of this week.

All 30 new coronavirus cases reported today are local transmissions, including 21 from Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) areas. Community transmissions are at nine today.

The total number of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia is 6,383. One new death was reported today; the total number of fatalities from Covid-19 as of today is 106.

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