Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has in a press conference yesterday (17 February) provided updates on the Covid-19 status in Malaysia, as well as some initiatives taken by the ministry when reporting its daily numbers.
Commenting on the surge in Covid-19 cases in Malaysia, he said that Malaysia, similar to a lot of other countries like Singapore, South Korea, the UK, Australia and Japan are all facing an Omicron wave at present time.
On Wednesday (16 February), Malaysia had recorded its highest-ever daily with over 27,000 cases. However, on the positive side, hospitalisation rate and critical cases remained on the lower range.
Khairy also said that most of the cases belonged to categories 1 and 2 which is of low severity, but those who are in the high-risk category, have commodities, or are of old age should be taken into hospital care even if they are patients in category 1 and 2 as a preemptive step to deal with the virus.
He added that as of Wednesday (16 February), 77.5% of the patients from categories 3 to 5 are those who have yet to receive their booster, have not received 2 doses, or have yet to receive a vaccine at all.
With this, Khairy emphasizes the importance for the general public to get their booster shots as soon as possible, as it has proven very effective in dealing with the severe symptoms of Covid-19.
He also mentioned that there had been a surge in positive cases among children. While there are currently no vaccines from any country for children aged 5 and below, Khairy urges the parents with children of age 5 and above to send their children for vaccination.
In addition, Khairy had called for the employers to allow their employees with kids to take time off and bring them for their vaccination appointments.
He also reminded employers to minimise employee contact best as possible.
Meanwhile, Khairy said that the daily numbers recorded in Malaysia should be motivation enough to lessen gatherings, company meals, working from the office and so on.
Towards the end, Khairy said that starting 18 February, the ministry will no longer announce the statistics every evening, but on the following day, together with other information such as as bed utilisation, the number of patients in intensive care, and the number of patients requiring respiratory assistance.
“This is so we can look at the daily case data along with other data like hospitalisation rates to decrease the fear factor about daily case numbers,” he said.