PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): With the Covid-19 situation in Malaysia well under control now, the Health Ministry projects zero new positive cases can be achieved by mid-July, provided people fully comply with the recovery movement control order (MCO) standard operating procedures (SOPs), says Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pic).
The Health director-general said the ministry's modelling found this could be achieved if the SOPs, particularly on social distancing, wearing of face masks, frequently washing hands or using hand sanitisers were strictly followed.
The low new infections, high discharge and low mortality rates gave confidence that the much-desired milestone could be achieved, he said at his tri-weekly press conference to update on the Covid-19 situation in the country, here on Wednesday.
He cited a New England Journal of Medicine report that stated that social distancing alone could contribute to a 65 per cent drop in new infections as a factor for the confidence.
The statistics back up his confidence, with just six new positive cases reported today versus 45 recoveries while there were no deaths.
With the latest figures, confirmed cases in the country stand at 8,596 while recoveries number 8.231 or 95.8 per cent. The death toll has remained at 121 cases or 1.41 per cent and has remained so since June 14.
On Tuesday (June 23), there were only three new cases while nine people had recovered.
With Covid-19 cases in the country sky-rocketing before Malaysia imposed the MCO on March 18, the steps taken to contain the pandemic had borne fruit, Dr Noor Hisham said.
He added that it was this success that allowed the MCO to be first relaxed as the conditional MCO from May 5 and thereafter as the recovery MCO from June 10.
He praised the people for showing good compliance to the SOPs and stressed that the zero new positive cases goal could only be achieved if they continued to strictly do so.
The recovery MCO, which is scheduled to end Aug 31, has enabled almost all economic sectors in the country to reopen and lifted most of the restrictions on people's movements. -Bernama