PUTRAJAYA, July 15 — With the new COVID-19 variants, including the Delta variant, infections can spread very quickly in just 15 seconds via airborne, said Health director-general Tan sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said the airborne infection would raise the infectivity rate (R-naught or Rt) in the community, which then results in a spike in daily cases.

“The increase in cases is not only happening in our country but the whole world is affected by the more dominant Delta variant, including our neighbouring countries and the United Kingdom. We can see a spike in cases since June 26… the increase is due to the high Rt of the Delta variant.

“The Rt of a normal virus is between 2.5 and 3, but that of the Delta variant and other variants that we have identified is between 5 and 8. That means if 100 people are infected, the virus can spread to 500 to 800 people in a short period,” he said at a media conference today.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said the implementation of the movement control under the National Recovery Plan on June 1 had given the Ministry of Health space and time to manage the increased number of beds, equipment and medicines required in hospitals nationwide.

He said this could be seen through the ministry’s capability in providing a total of 4,300 beds at present, with 3,600 beds at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) COVID-19 Integrated Quarantine and Treatment Centre and 700 beds in three hospitals, including at the Serdang Hospital.

“This is the time we used to carry out purchases and give time for these healthcare facilities to accommodate patients,” he said.


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