Dr Zaliha Mustafa asks Malaysians to remain calm as healthcare facilities are not overwhelmed by the rise in COVID-19 cases.
Health Minister Dr Zaliha stated that there has been a spike in COVID-19 cases globally towards the year’s end and reassured the public that the situation is under control. She also mentioned that most COVID-19 cases being diagnosed in Malaysia are relatively mild.
Sudden Spike In COVID-19 Cases
According to the MOH, the number of new COVID-19 cases had risen by 57.3% from November 19 to 25. This week reported 3,626 cases, compared to 2,305 cases last week. Health director-general Dr Radzi Abu Hassan stated that there were eight active clusters in Malaysia with a total of 121 patients. Meanwhile, hospital admissions had risen by 2.9%. Dr Radzi also mentioned that healthcare facilities are not strained due to the sudden spike in cases.
Why Should We Be Concerned?
Professor Dr. Sazaly Abu Bakar, a virologist based at the University Malaya, explained that the actual number of COVID-19 cases was likely to be higher than reported. He stated that many Malaysians were not conducting self-tests or reporting when their tests were positive. He suspected that the actual number of positive cases could range from 5,000 to 10,000 cases a week.
Dr Lee Boon Chye, the former deputy health minister, cautioned the central government to closely monitor the situation for unpredictable scenarios, especially the emergence of a new variant. He also advised to keep track of the increase in hospital admissions and deaths due to COVID-19.
No Reason To Panic
Dr Lee reassured the Malaysian public that 98% of reported cases only experienced mild symptoms. He also advised individuals with high-risk to take preventive measures. This includes wearing masks in public and practising good hygiene. Dr. Lee likened COVID-19 to ‘seasonal flu’, an ongoing situation that spikes every now and then.
MOH’s Advice To The Malaysian Public
Dr Zaliha stated that’’ The Omicron variant, along with its sub-variants known for high transmissibility, continues circulating in Malaysia but does not cause severe symptoms,” she said.
“Go and see a doctor if symptoms worsen. Get Paxlovid antiviral treatment at the nearest health clinic for individuals positive for COVID-19 and at high risk. The public can also get a primary dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at health clinics to reduce the risk of infection. The public is urged not to spread false news, to avoid confusion and cause public anxiety,” she said.
Dr. Zaliha also reassured the public that the MOH is prepared for any eventuality and is closely monitoring the situation in Malaysia.
Call For Action
Malaysians should be aware of their surroundings, mask up, and practise proper hygiene. Anyone suspected of COVID-19 should immediately get tested and reduce contact with other individuals as much as possible. The public should not hesitate to seek treatment from the nearest healthcare provider if they experience severe symptoms such as high fever and breathing difficulties. In a nutshell, keep calm and stay safe.