DG still warns Malaysians not to be complacent

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia records a single digit in the number of locally transmitted Covid-19 cases in a day – the lowest figure by far since the movement control order (MCO) was implemented on March 18.

There were also no new deaths since May 22, keeping the country’s death toll at 115 for six straight days.

Despite the promising figures, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pic) warned Malaysians not to take things for granted and reiterated that the “war is not over”.

The decline in the local transmission of the virus, he said, was in line with the ministry’s projections and also the result of public health measures implemented under the MCO.

It was also helped by the public’s compliance to new norms as well as adherence to the standard operating procedure (SOP) established for various sectors and industries, he added.

“However, the ministry remains concerned that there may be an increase in Covid-19 cases following the movement of people during the Hari Raya celebrations.

“Since May 16,18,303 vehicles have attempted interstate travel to return to their hometowns, and were ordered to turn back by the police.

“If the public becomes complacent and does not comply with the SOP set by the government, the ministry expects a sudden increase in Covid-19 cases that could lead to a new wave of infections.

“Therefore, the public must remain cautious and not take lightly the reduction in cases. The war against the Covid-19 virus is far from over, ” he said at the ministry’s daily Covid-19 press conference here.

Earlier, Dr Noor Hisham announced 15 new cases – of which nine were local transmissions and six imported cases who were infected overseas.

Of the 15, only one was detected at the Bukit Jalil Immigration depot cluster.

Dr Noor Hisham said 4,752 detainees and staff at the Bukit Jalil, Semenyih and Sepang Immigration detention centres have been tested for Covid-19.

The ministry has detected 282 positive cases at the Bukit Jalil Immigration depot, 66 at Semenyih and 36 at Sepang.

Only one involved a staff member which is in Semenyih.

A total of 4,355 have tested negative, with only 13 still awaiting results.

On another matter, Dr Noor Hisham said all other participants of a post-Cabinet meeting attended by Auditor-General Datuk Nik Azman Nik Abdul Majid last Wednesday have tested negative for Covid-19.

Although he did not name Nik Azman specifically due to the Health Ministry’s patient confidentiality policy, Dr Noor Hisham said the auditor-general had no signs of a cough or fever.

Dr Noor Hisham, however, pointed out that Nik Azman felt lethargic, which was also another Covid-19 symptom besides experiencing a loss in smell and taste.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who was present at the meeting, has been undergoing a 14-day quarantine since last Friday.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said the cramped living conditions of foreign workers in Malaysia needed to be addressed as they were a hotbed for infectious diseases.

“If you live in a confined place, definitely infectious diseases will continue to spread, not only Covid-19 but other diseases like TB (tuberculosis).

“We have to look into the short and long term and we need to solve this problem of the confined living space of our foreign workers.

“Today, we have to change the norm. How we do things must be different from the past in order to have a better future, ” he said.

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