Health DG: Do not commit to vaccine in haste

by HARIZAH KAMEL / pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

HEALTH DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (picture) said the government should wait for the Phase 3 clinical trials of vaccines before committing to one.

“We have hopes of looking into the vaccines but to date, although there are 11 vaccines in Phase 3 of clinical trials, we have yet to read the reports on them.

“So, we hope to analyse the reports in terms of the safety and advocacy of the vaccines. Hopefully, it will be positive but nonetheless, we will look at the details thoroughly,” he said in his daily briefing yesterday.

On Monday, news broke that the Covid-19 vaccine, being experimented by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE, is more than 90% effective. The drugmakers reportedly developed the vaccine in 10 months, with the US and Europe in line to get the first doses, according to Bloomberg.

On Malaysia’s pandemic situation, the number of new positive Covid-19 cases remained at three digits with 869 cases recorded yesterday including one import case.

The new cases brought the total overall number of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia to 42,050 with 11,446 active cases.

A total of 725 patients recovered and were discharged, while another six deaths were recorded, bringing the total number of casualties to 300.

Currently, 82 positive cases are being treated in intensive care units, of which 27 cases require respiratory assistance.

Sabah still topped the list with 397 new cases, followed by Selangor with 236 cases, while Negri Sembilan recorded 141 cases.

Dr Noor Hisham also announced that four clusters had ended, namely the Rinting cluster in Melaka and Johor, Semarak cluster and Sabindo cluster in Sabah, and Jelok cluster in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.

However, four new clusters were identified. In Sabah, they are the Liawan cluster in Keningau, Tatahan cluster in Kota Kinabalu and GK Tawau cluster in Tawau.

Meanwhile, in Kelantan, the Kube cluster involves the Kota Baru and Tanah Merah districts.

Separately, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the police arrested 341 individuals for violating the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).

Of the figure, 307 individuals were compounded, 33 were remanded and one individual was on police bail. Failure to wear face masks was the highest offence with 116 cases.

On Ops Benteng, 78 illegal immigrants and one agent were arrested. A total of 516 individuals arrived at the country’s international gateways and all have been quarantined.

From July 24 to Nov 9, 64,374 individuals returned to the country, of which, 9,977 individuals were undergoing mandatory quarantine at 66 hotels and 21 other premises.

The Enhanced MCO (EMCO) in Taman Mawar, Sandakan, Sabah, ended yesterday as scheduled, while the EMCO in Taman Mesra, Sandakan, has been extended for another 14 days from Nov 12-24.

Addressing the issue of registering through the MySejahtera app at petrol stations, Ismail Sabri said individuals who make any transaction in the store of the petrol station must register through the app.

“Individuals who use the surau and toilet at the petrol stations must also register through the app. Fuelling at the pump using a card or online application, however, does not require one to register through MySejahtera.

“Individuals who make a transaction or pay through the pigeonhole window without entering the gas station also do not need to register through the app,” he said.

Additionally, individuals who go to the gas station to pump vehicle tyres do not need to register through the app, however, those who send vehicles to the car workshop or car wash at the petrol station, except for auto car wash, must register.

Meanwhile, the method of working from home for the public sector is expanded in each state subjected to both RMCO and Conditional MCO.