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Health DG: 2 Weeks MCO Not Enough, Malaysia Needs Until May To Flatten The Curve

Health DG: 2 Weeks MCO Not Enough, Malaysia Needs Until May To Flatten The Curve

The Health Ministry targets to reduce new infections to 1,000 – 500 daily cases

Kirat Kaur

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Two weeks of Movement Control Order (MCO) isn’t enough for Malaysia to flatten the curve, revealed Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

In his daily Covid-19 press conference yesterday (13 January), he explained that the Health Ministry (MOH) will be monitoring data to see whether the number of cases can be reduced.

We probably won’t be able to lower the number of cases. But we will be able to prevent the cases from increasing further.

Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, Health Director-General.

The Health Ministry targets to reduce new infections to 1,000 – 500 daily cases

“Efforts to re-flatten the curve of the Covid-19 infection graph in the country are expected to be successful in May or June,” said Dr Noor Hisham.

This projection is based on the current situation where the daily case numbers are high and the rate of infection (R-naught or R0) exceeds 1.0 – which indicates that each existing infection causes more than one new infection.

Flattening the curve means that the transmission of the infection is successfully controlled with fewer cases of new infections.

If the MCO is implemented for four weeks, Malaysia may be able to reduce the cases to below 1,000, and then 500 via CMCO. This could also help improve the capacity at the hospitals and provide better treatment to patients.

However, the economic impact of MCO is big

Dr Noor Hisham admits that the MCO period should not be too long because it has a negative impact on the national economy.

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) , Malaysia’s first MCO imposed in March 2020 had turned into an economic beatdown with intensifying negative impacts on jobs, incomes and livelihoods, disrupting supply chains and upending businesses, exacerbating inequalities, poverty and hardships especially among the most vulnerable.

Credit: @IniAlannn/Twitter

As such, the Health DG explains that these two weeks will be especially crucial to prevent Covid-19 cases from increasing.

However, a period of 4 weeks may be required to achieve that target and he hopes it does not need to be extended further.

We really hope for everyone’s cooperation to stay home and if necessary to go out to work, fully comply with SOPs and preventive measures. By limiting movement, efforts to break the chain of infection will be successful.

Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, Health Director-General.

As of 13 January, Malaysia has 32,868 active Covid-19 cases with 197 patients in Intensive Care Unit (ICU).


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