The Health Ministry (KKM) is expecting to see a slight increase in Covid-19 cases in the country in the next few weeks due to Omicron XBB subvariant that is currently lurking around the community.
However, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin advised the public not to be alarmed by the development as the situation in the country is still under control. At the same time, he also urged the people to stay vigilant as the country is still in the transition to endemic phase.
“We have detected the XBB strain in Malaysia, but so far it has not led to an increase in terms of hospital admissions and deaths, that is the most important measurement.”
“To what extent cases will increase, my officials at the MOH are making a projection based on the infection model we have before and next week I will be able to give a more accurate projection,” he said, reported Bernama.
Khairy said that although there is a possibility of an increase in Covid-19 cases in Malaysia, the ministry does not have plans to reinstate any restrictions including enforcing face masks to be worn.
“The transition to the endemic phase must take into account the mutation of the virus to a new variant, if an unexpected new variant can increase infectivity, effects and symptoms, only then will we review (face mask requirement), but so far it is not necessary,” he said.
As of now, Khairy said the ministry has not imposed additional measures for individuals commuting between Johor Bahru and Singapore. But the ministry will constantly monitor the situation in the country.
15th General Election SOP
Speaking on the standard operating procedure (SOP) for the 15th General Election (GE15), Khairy said the ministry has sent a proposed SOP to the Election Commission (EC).
However, he said that no additional measures or restrictions have been introduced as the Covid-19 situation in the country is under control.
“We don’t want any restrictions, if you want to hold a talk, you are free to do so, but wear a mask in a crowded place. The ministry has given its recommendations to the EC so that voting can be conducted safely,” he said.
Earlier, Singapore’s Health Ministry informed that the Covid-19 case in the republic has been on the increase since last month and it was mainly caused by the Omicron XBB subvariant. Singapore’s Health Ministry also expected that the XBB infection wave will peak in mid-November.