Senior doctor warns of Covid-19 second wave if complacency sets in

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 13 May 2020

A poster in a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur showing steps the public can take to prevent the spread of Covid-19. – RAJA FAISAL HISHAN/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: A second wave of Covid-19 infections will strike if some segments of society become complacent and do not take protective measures seriously, says Datuk Dr Amar Singh.

In a statement Wednesday (May 13), Dr Amar said that while Malaysians were grateful to be moving out of the first wave of Covid-19, many have started to become complacent as the number of cases comes down.

"With the relaxation of the movement control order (MCO), some people are flouting all the key principles of Covid-19 prevention that have been drilled into us these past two months.

"Now, our risk of getting infected is going up," he said.

Dr Amar said there had been a disregard for social distancing, hand hygiene, safe mask use and group gatherings.

He said the continued behaviour of some Malaysians would allow the coronavirus to spread and result in a second wave.

According to him, the second wave will be from asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic individuals (80% of all cases) as the public returns to work and carries out other activities.

"Please do not allow our low numbers to lull us into complacency," he said, adding that every Malaysian needed to take personal action and adopt behavioural change to keep Covid-19 at a low rate while the country looks for long-term solutions.

The Ipoh-based senior consultant paediatrician, who has been tracking and analysing Covid-19 data in Malaysia, said it would be reasonable to assume at least 0.1% of the population is Covid-19 positive, which is about 32,000 cases.

According to him, hospital data where patients had to be tested for Covid-19 before surgery revealed that out of 8,528 patients, six or 0.07% had tested positive.

In Selangor, where community screening is being done, 10 out of 5,433 people tested positive for the coronavirus, or 0.18%.

However, in tests done on migrant workers, 1,132 or 4.7% tested positive for Covid-19.

Based on these numbers, Dr Amar felt it was reasonable to assume that at least 0.1% of the population had Covid-19.

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