KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 — The Health Ministry (MOH) foresees that daily COVID-19 infections will reach 30,000 cases if measures are not taken to curb the Omicron wave.

As such, Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the decision to temporarily suspend the permission for umrah travel was one of the measures that had to be taken to prevent the spread of the variant.

“Based on the MOH’s simulation, if we do not take preventive measures such as the temporary postponement of umrah travel and quarantine procedures, we will see cases surge from this month until February to over 15,000 a day,” he told a press conference here today.

He said the expected figure was the result of MOH’s projections through the susceptible, exposed, infectious, and recovered (SEIR) model using the infectivity rate (Rt) of 0.95, 1.2 and 1.6 respectively.

Khairy said although Omicron variant infections were not as severe as the Delta variant so far, should the number of cases increased to 30,000, hospital admissions would also surge, though the patients are only under categories one and two.

On the administration of booster doses, he said four integrated vaccination centres (PPVs) with a much bigger capacity would start operating on Jan 15 at the Kuala Lumpur World Trade Centre (WTCKL), Axiata Arena Bukit Jalil, Ideal Convention Centre (IDCC) Shah Alam. and Soka Gakkai in Klang.

“The booster dose will be given through appointments made through the MySejahtera application or short message service (SMS),” he said.

However, individuals can contact the Private General Practitioners Vaccination Centres (PPV-GP) listed on the ProtectHealth website to register for the clinic’s waitlist.

To date, 30 per cent of the adult population and 52 per cent of senior citizens in the country have received their booster shots, he said.


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