Keep Practicing SOPs, Vaccine Not Silver Bullet: Minister

Russia has approved a Covid-19 vaccine, but scientists have expressed concern about the opaque development of the Sputnik V vaccine and the lack of mass testing.

KUALA LUMPUR, August 13 — Minister Mohd Redzuan Yusof today asked Malaysians to embrace new norms of behaviour amid the pandemic instead of relying on a Covid-19 vaccine.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for Special Functions said in Parliament today that the best way to combat Covid-19 is by breaking the epidemiological chain of the virus.

“We can’t be sure if a vaccine has been found. The best measure that we can do is to break the Covid-19 transmission chain,” he said in Dewan Rakyat.

“We should encourage people to adapt the new way of life, managing their daily life well by complying with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) that have been put in place to revive the economy,” the Alor Gajah MP added.

Russia has approved and is ready to market a Covid-19 vaccine, but scientists have reportedly expressed concern about the opaque development of the Sputnik V vaccine and the lack of mass testing through Phase 3 trials.

At the same time, Kampar MP Thomas Su Keong Siong called on the government to expand Covid-19 screening in the country.

“What are the government’s steps in expanding screening for more Covid-19 suspected people? The trends in the United States and Europe clearly show that the characteristics of Covid-19 virus have changed. The median age of patients is decreasing, and many of them are asymptomatic,” Su said in Parliament today.

“Figures from the World Health Organization indicate that Covid-19 pandemic is not controlled in many countries. So what is the government’s policy in expanding screening for more people?” the DAP lawmaker added.

Mohd Redzuan stated that Malaysia is prepared to conduct tests for those with symptoms, as the country’s daily testing capacity is at 50,000 for both the RT-PCR and antigen rapid test kit.

Earlier today, Second Deputy Health Minister Aaron Ago Dagang stated that Malaysia is merely conducting 5,000 to 6,000 Covid-19 tests per day.

It is to be noted that the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has urged member states to implement preventive measures against Covid-19, warning of an increase in cases.

Italy saw a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases among people below 18-years-old. The country’s median age of an infected person dropped to 38.

Countries like Greece and Australia are facing a sudden rise in Covid-19 cases, while New Zealand city Auckland has been put on lockdown when the city recorded new Covid-19 cases, after 102 days of zero local transmissions in the country.

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