PETALING JAYA: Staying healthy is key to recovering from the pandemic, as the country prepares to reopen its socio-economic activities, says Khairy Jamaluddin.
Through his Twitter account, the Health Minister said that as the pandemic is transitioning to being endemic, it is important for Malaysians to practise healthier lifestyles.
“Most who suffer from the worst outcomes of Covid-19, i.e. death and intensive care unit admissions have comorbidities,” he tweeted on Monday (Sept 27).
“Your first line of defence (apart from getting vaccinated) is to stay healthy.
“Malaysia is quite vulnerable because we top the region in so many non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like obesity, hypertension, diabetes etc.
“So get healthy to prepare for endemicity!“ he added.
In July, Khairy’s predecessor Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said that a report has shown that out of the 457,462 B40 Healthcare Scheme (PeKa B40) recipients that underwent health screenings, 151,729 were found to be living with NCDs.
Some of the diseases include diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, as well as mental issues including depression and anxiety.
A report by the Health Ministry and the World Health Organisation (WHO) last year showed that NCDs had cost the Malaysian economy an estimated RM8.91bil in total.
The same report, named “The Impact of Noncommunicable Diseases and Their Risk Factors on Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product”, also calculated that the workers who died prematurely due to NCDs in the year studied could have contributed a further 201,185 years in the workforce.
The figure was estimated based on 20,786 reported deaths of persons of working age in Malaysia in 2017, attributed to three types of NCDs, namely cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer.