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MoH Announces Measures In Light Of Covid-19 Situation In China

MoH Announces Measures In Light Of Covid-19 Situation In China

Surveillance at international entry points will be increased by taking samples of sewage from aircraft arriving from China.

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The Health Ministry (MoH) said they are always monitoring the current situation of Covid-19 worldwide, specifically based on the announcements by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Much has been said about the high number of cases in China and Malaysians on social media have expressed concern as China is set to open its borders fully after a three-year closure due to the pandemic.

In a statement today, MoH referred to the WHO’s Covid-19 weekly report where 148,659 positive cases have been reported in China during the 50th epidemiology week (11 to 17 December 2022) with 442 deaths.

Overall, the reporting trend for Covid-19 cases in many countries are under control including Malaysia.

MoH said up to 24 December, a majority of the cases in Malaysia are the Omicron variant (66.17%), followed by Delta (32.69%), Beta (1.06%); and Alpha (0.08%).

From the cumulative Omicron variant detected, 61.6% are the sub-variant BA.5.2 and 10.8% are the sub-variant XBB.1 and three cases are the sub-variant BF.7.

There has been no sudden spike in Covid-19 cases across Malaysia.

Taking into account the high probability of imported cases, MoH is constantly increasing their readiness and response to face any possibilities, such as when Delta hit.

The ministry has announced four main strategies: increasing community, environment and lab surveillance, protecting the community with vaccination which includes high risk groups, increasing readiness and response of public health facilities and empowering the community through continuous engagement and awareness.

Apart from that, Malaysia’s status as ‘local infection area’ which should end 31 December is being extended until 30 June 2023 to ensure MoH can conduct infection prevention and control.

This extension was gazetted on 27 December through the Prevention and Control Of Infectious Diseases (Declaration of Infected Local Areas) (Extension of Operation) (No.2) Regulations 2022.

Meanwhile, to increase the detection of new variants, all influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) that seek treatment at health facilities and have a history of travel to China in the last 14 days, or with history of contacts who have been to China in the last 14 days will be made to undergo RTK-Ag Covid-19 test and will be sent for genome sequencing if they are positive.

Surveillance at international entry points will be increased by taking samples of sewage from aircraft arriving from China.

Samples of the wastewater will be sent to the National Public Health Lab (MKAK) for PCR test and genome sequencing if Covid-19 is found.

All travellers from abroad including China will go through a fever screening. Those with fever or symptomatic or anyone who declares they have symptoms will be referred to the quarantine centre or health facility for checking. If they are suspected to have been infected, a Covid-19 test will be conducted.

MoH has also advised the people to practice a healthy and safe lifestyle to prevent from getting infected by Covid-19 or other diseases.

The public is also encouraged to practice TRIIS (Test,  Report, Isolate, Inform, Seek).

For high risk individuals, including those with comorbidities, they are encouraged to wear face masks especially in crowded areas.

Those with symptoms are advised to self test and wear masks.

MoH said it will continue to monitor infections inside and outside Malaysia as well as work closely with China, the WHO and other Asean countries to ensure prevention and control measures can continuously proceed.

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