Keep wearing face mask in transition to endemic phase – Health DG

by BERNAMA / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

KUALA LUMPUR – Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah today called on the public to remain vigilant against the spread of COVID-19 in the transition to the endemic phase by continuing to wear a face mask to prevent infection.

He said that wearing a face mask was one of the preventive measures that could reduce the spread of the virus, especially in high-risk areas such as indoor places with poor ventilation, crowded places, and places where individuals have close-range interactions.

Dr Noor Hisham said COVID-19 still exists and is contagious and causes death, especially among the elderly, children, individuals with low immune systems, and individuals with comorbidities.

Hence, he said the best practice would be for the two individuals – the virus carrier and the healthy one – to wear face masks because this will make the risk of transmission of the virus to remain very low.

“This (wearing of face mask) is important because there is a possibility of certain individuals who are unaware that they have been infected with COVID-19 being in public places as they are asymptomatic,” he said in a statement here today.

Dr Noor Hisham said the proper use of face masks was to cover the nose and mouth completely, not just under or the tip of the nose as the SARS-CoV-2 virus easily spread through respiratory droplets.

“If there are individuals who do not wear face masks or wear them improperly, we can reprimand them nicely.

“The practice of wearing face masks must be made a culture so as to protect our health, apart from trying to maintain reasonable physical distancing and get the booster dose for those who have yet to do so,” he said.

The full list of the standard operating procedures for the wearing of face masks is available at  www.mysop.gov.my.

On the latest development of the COVID-19 situation in Malaysia as of yesterday, Dr Noor Hisham said the number of new cases remained below 15,000 for the fourth consecutive day at 12,017 cases, bringing the cumulative total to 4,268,486 cases.

He said of the total new cases, 28 were in category three, 15 in category four and 25 in category fice, while the rest were in categories one and two.

On the usage of health facilities for COVID-19 cases, Dr Noor Hisham said only Selangor recorded the usage of intensive care unit (ICU) beds of over 50 per cent yesterday.

A total of 558 COVID-19 cases were admitted to hospitals, with 221 cases in categories three, four and five.

The country’s infectivity rate or Rt is at 0.86 with Selangor having the highest rate at 1.03 and Kelantan, having the lowest at 0.66.