KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) expects the country’s daily COVID-19 cases to stabilise and show a decline in the next one to two weeks’ time, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
He said that the vaccination drive nationwide and public health controls such as the current movement control could flatten the curve of the pandemic again.
He said the spike in new cases over the last few days was due to more targeted screenings being implemented, especially in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, which are currently under the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO).
“The MOH had expected that with the lockdown in the Klang Valley areas, the daily cases will increase due to the implementation of the targeted and community screenings.
“However, I am confident that with better movement control methods, we will see a more stable total number of cases as well as a drop within a week or two. At the same time, the vaccination process must be expedited,” he said.
He said this when appearing as a guest on the Bernama TV programme ‘The Nation’, entitled “COVID-19: Apa Lagi Ikhtiar Kita” (COVID-19: Measures To Be Taken), hosted by Bernama chairman Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi here, tonight.
Dr Noor Hisham also said that from the experience and lessons learned from the second wave of COVID-19 previously, the country would need to be more cautious and not rush to open several sectors that could trigger a surge in new cases.
He said continued compliance by all parties as well as the enforcement of the standard operating procedure (SOP) in the field, such as the manufacturing sector, needed to be enhanced in an effort to control more infections, especially those involving workplace transmissions.
In explaining the capacity situation at several hospitals, which were reported to be overcrowded with COVID-19 patients, he said the MOH was actively increasing the hospitals’ capacities to accommodate patients, especially those under Category Four and Category Five, in the intensive care units (ICUs).
“The problem we face is that the Category Four and Category Five patients take a long time to be treated in the ICU, between two to five weeks, including requiring ventilators.
“These are the constraints we face because the number of patients in Category Four and Category Five is also increasing. That’s why the MOH is doing its best to increase the hospitals’ capacity,” he said.
There are five categories of the COVID-19 disease. Category One – asymptomatic; Category Two – mild disease; Category Three – moderate disease (pneumonia, not requiring oxygen); Category Four – severe disease (pneumonia and requiring oxygen); and Category Five – critical disease (multiple organ impairment, possibly requiring assisted ventilation).
Today (July 19) saw Malaysia hit another record high of 9,353 new cases, with 29 new clusters, including 19 linked to workplaces.