PUTRAJAYA: As Malaysia finally reaches a day without any new local Covid-19 case, the Health Ministry is targeting to sustain this for 28 days.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said for this target to be achieved, Malaysians must continue to comply with the ministry’s Covid-19 standard operating procedure (SOP).
“The ministry will continue to closely monitor the locally transmitted cases. Today (yesterday) is a good start, we have zero local transmission.
“What is more important is for us to maintain and sustain the zero local transmission for the next 28 days.
“I am sure we can achieve that together if everyone adheres to the ministry’s SOP, ” he told reporters yesterday.
The ministry uses 28 days as a benchmark as it corresponds to two Covid-19 incubation cycles.
A Covid-19 cluster can only be declared closed when there are no new cases for 28 continuous days.
Dr Noor Hisham previously said that the ministry could only declare the country free of Covid-19 if it has no new infections for 28 days.
Earlier, he said the country had only one new Covid-19 case, but it was an imported case involving a 21-year-old Malaysian who returned from Turkey.
The last time Malaysia had a lower number of daily cases was on Feb 26, when there were zero cases reported that day.
Since Monday, the country has reported only six new cases.
There are no deaths for 16 days in a row, and with 21 more patients discharged yesterday, the number of active cases has gone down to 144.
Dr Noor Hisham described the achievement as “historical” and congratulated Malaysians for playing their part in reducing the number of cases.
But with schools set to be reopened, he urged parents to continue educating their children on the new norms and practices post-Covid-19.
“The ministry will continue to monitor the situation at the newly reopened sectors, including schools, and conduct surveillance on the number of cases in the country.
“Our intention throughout the recovery movement control order (MCO) is to open up more sectors.
“Should an outbreak occur, we will close down the facilities that are affected and then conduct screening on the people there, just like what we have done in the past, ” he said.
The ministry continuously conducts targeted testing on high-risk groups that have been identified even if there are no new cases.
“For example, old folk’s homes and markets are considered high-risk groups. We still conduct screenings there even if there is no spike in cases.
“Recently, we found a case in a Sandakan market, and we duly had the place shut down, ” he said.
The recovery MCO period is scheduled to end on Aug 31.
The government has so far allowed many sectors and businesses to resume, including domestic tourism, interstate travel, theme parks and education, among others.
However, strict social distancing rules are still enforced.
Did you find this article insightful?
89% readers found this article insightful