Stay home to curb spread of COVID-19 – Expert

by BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Having lived with COVID-19 since two years ago, Malaysians should have been more aware by now on the spread of the virus and taken the initiative to reduce their movement in view of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

An expert in occupational health, emergency and public health, Dr Hanafiah Bashirun said the public should not wait for a movement restriction order from the government to do so,  but to take proactive measures themselves to curb the spread of the virus.

“Now that we are moving to the endemic phase, we do not have to wait for the government to make the ruling.

“ For example, a wise employer will reduce the number of employees in the office and allow them to  work from home when there is a surge in COVID-19 cases.  Why wait for Health Minister Khairy (Jamaluddin) to make an announcement?,” he said when contacted by Bernama.

Khairy, in a Tweet about two weeks ago, said the Omicron wave has begun in Malaysia and the number of COVID-19 cases in the country is expected to rise.

Dr Hanafiah said the public should be proactive and be more responsible by reducing social activities and to avoid going out to public and congested places, unless necessary, to maintain the health of their family and the surrounding community.

He said proactive action should also be taken by the education sector if the COVID-19 cases among students showed an increasing trend.

Meanwhile, Health Ministry’s deputy director of disease control (Surveillance), Dr Asiah Ayob said all quarters should play their role to help curb the spread of COVID-19 by getting the vaccine dose and to complete the vaccination, including getting the booster dose.

This is especially for those aged 60 as they are the high-risk group and should get the booster dose immediately, she added.

She said the public should also continue to adhere to the existing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as it had been proven effective to prevent the spread of the infection.

They should continue to exercise the 3 W’s (Wash, Wear and Warn)  and avoid the 3 C’s (Closed spaced, Crowded places and Close-contact settings), she added.

Based on the Health Ministry’s COVID-19 portal, the country’s COVID-19 infectivity rate (Ro/Rt) yesterday was at 1.39.

Sarawak recorded the highest RT value with 1.68, followed by Perlis 1.65, Sabah (1.59), Labuan (1.51) and Terengganu  1.40.