KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 — Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah targets Covid-19 cases to reach below 100 daily by the middle or end of May.
During his press conference on Malaysia’s daily Covid-19 cases, Dr Noor Hisham said that unlike during the first two weeks of the implementation of movement control order (MCO) this year where the Ministry of Health (MOH) was reporting over 5,000 cases, the cases reported for the past few days are more stable.
Since February 5, the daily cases reported have been below 4,000 cases. Dr Noor Hisham said that with a MCO followed by a conditional movement control order (CMCO) later on, MOH targets to see the infectivity rate (R0) to drop from 1.2 to 0.6 or lesser, which is targeted somewhere in March or April.
“So, we may target for example to achieve two digits during the middle of May or the end of May. This is our target,” Dr Noor Hisham said today.
Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham also explained that ministers returning to Malaysia from official visits abroad will only be allowed to quarantine for three days if they follow the strict guidelines and if they get prior approval from the Cabinet. The ministers must also travel in a private plane, not allowed to go to public places, and adhere strictly to the travel bubble itinerary.
The Health director-general also said that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who recently visited Jakarta, Indonesia, for an official visit will be completing seven days of quarantine.
“For the Honourable Prime Minister that went to Jakarta recently, the PCR test was conducted on February 3, which is before he left for Jakarta, and when he reached Jakarta (February 4), a test was done again and he returned to Malaysia.
“So, on February 5, which is the first day, I have released a home surveillance order to quarantine and he was given a (quarantine) band on the first day and swab test has been done today which is the fifth day, and he will be completing seven days of quarantine,” the health director-general added.
Malaysians are generally subject to 10 days’ home quarantine upon returning from overseas.
Dr Noor Hisham also said in January and February, the number of deaths reported is almost reaching 400 fatalities; most are from category four and five Covid-19 patients.
“That is very challenging for us to manage in terms of category four and five and fatality mainly occurs, 87 per cent category four and five.”
However, Dr Noor Hisham said with the new Covid-19 Assessment Centres (CAC), positive Covid-19 cases can be screened according to severity for necessary action to prevent them from deteriorating at home.
Besides that, the Health director-general also said that currently there are 70 Covid-19 positive patients being treated in private hospitals, whereby seven of them are in the intensive care unit and two of them on ventilator support.
Overall, out of 210 private hospitals in Malaysia, 129 hospitals have been identified to treat Covid-19 patients.