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Noor Hisham says that Covid-19 Delta variant takes only 15 seconds to infect a person

Yesterday (15 July), the Health Director-General (DG), Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had in a press conference said that the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is highly contagious and can spread through the air in as short as 15 seconds.

He added that this is the main cause for the drastic increase in COVID-19 cases in the country since 26 June.

“If we look at the infectiousness for a normal virus, the R0 or Rt is between 2.5 and 3.0, but the R0 or Rt for the Delta variant or variants that we have identified is much higher, that is between 5.0 and 8.0.”

“Meaning, if 100 people are infected, within a short period of incubation, it can infect between 500 and 800 people.” he said in the joint press conference with Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

Source: NST

To make things worse, he said that virus has been evolving rapidly too.

He added that experts previously estimated that a positive case happens only if someone in close contact with an infected person for 15 minutes or are less than 1m apart.

“However, with the new variant, infections can happen within 15 seconds only, and also because it is airborne,” he stressed.

The Health DG then reiterated the importance of the SOPs and vaccination to help curb the spread within the community. These includes wearing of face masks, physical distancing, avoiding crowded and confined places, and frequent hand washing.

Source: The Edge

He pointed out Labuan as an example, where the infectivity rate was at one point the highest when the Delta variant was first discovered in Malaysia.

Nonetheless, with all the measures in place and the Special Committee on COVID-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) ramping up the vaccination rates, the situation in Labuan is under controlled within 3 weeks.

As a reminder, always comply with the SOP and practice physical distancing. It is only one of the few methods that we can keep ourselves safe.

Watch the press conference here:

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