No fourth wave: Malaysia still handling the third wave of Covid-19 infections, says Dr Adham

KOTA TINGGI (Bernama): Malaysia has not entered the fourth wave of Covid-19 as the number of cases in the third wave has not shown a significant decline, says Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba (pic).

A fourth wave would have considered to have occurred if domestic transmissions drop to "baseline" or zero cases in the third wave before the number increases sharply the next day, he told Bernama when met at Surau As-Syakirin here on Saturday (April 17).

Dr Adham said Malaysia could experience a fourth wave of Covid-19 if there is a decline in compliance with standard operating procedures (SOP) among the public, resulting in the emergence of new clusters.

He said among the factors causing the increase in cases this time were social activities in early April, including weddings and gatherings, as well as sending children to schools and universities in different states.

The number of new daily cases rose to 2,551 on Friday (April 16) and there were 2,331 on Saturday.

On July 1 last year, Malaysia recorded just one new Covid-19 case during the second wave of the pandemic and no cases of infection within the country, either among Malaysians or foreigners.

Malaysia, was hit by a third wave of infections starting on Sept 20 last year when it started to record daily cases in four digits on Oct 24, with 1,228 cases.

Meanwhile, Dr Adham, when commenting on the alleged failure to comply with SOPs especially at Ramadan bazaars, said local authorities should constantly monitor the situation.

He said they were also recently authorised to impose compounds on individuals for failing to comply with SOP.

"However, I hope this compound is not to punish but more to educate the public.

"Ramadan bazaars are a source of business for small traders and they have not been able to do business for a long time. If we disallow it, then it will affect the economy.

"Apart from local authorities, the Covid-19 Eradicating Agents (ABC-19) must be in the area too, including the People's Volunteer Corps (Rela), the police and Health Ministry (MOH) staff," he said.

In the meantime, Dr Adham said that the public must continue to work together to fulfil their responsibility to protect themselves and the community, as well as to continue to empower the community through the ABC-19 programme, which is the government's latest initiative to ensure that the community is protected from the pandemic.

He said local leaders and community members could participate in education programmes and SOP enforcement. – Bernama

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