KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) today strongly recommended that eligible individuals take coronavirus booster vaccines, amid an increase in Covid-19 hospital admissions in the Greater Klang Valley and Negeri Sembilan.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced an expansion in the Covid-19 booster programme to include Sinovac recipients, aged 60 years and older, who will be offered a booster with the Pfizer-BioNTech shot via off-label use.
Hospital admissions in the Klang Valley rose by 22 per cent in the past week, according to the CovidNow website.
Khairy said MOH data showed that the number of Covid-19 patient admissions to public hospitals and low-risk quarantine and treatment centres (PKRC) for the central zone (Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, and Putrajaya) have shown an increasing trend after interstate travel restrictions were lifted on October 11.
A similar upward trend from Epidemiological Week 40 is seen in Sarawak and Negeri Sembilan, especially for Category Three, Four, and Five Covid-19 patients.
The health minister said intensive care unit (ICU) and non-ICU hospital bed occupancy rates were still above 60 per cent in Sarawak, Kelantan, and Selangor, and above 50 per cent in Penang and Perak.
“In conclusion, what I’m saying here is that the MOH is looking at a few leading indicators and in states and federal territories like Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, the hospital admission trend is worrying. We will monitor this situation in greater detail in terms of patients’ profiles.
“The MOH wants to ensure that the number of serious cases can be reduced. So, these figures will be monitored in greater detail so that further action can be taken,” Khairy said.