PETALING JAYA: The Covid-19 Omicron variant is probably more transmissible than the Delta variant but it is not known how virulent as yet, says Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
“What we can do in the meantime is step up public health interventions (masks, distancing and hygiene), improve indoor air flow, keep our aged safe and take a booster when offered,” he said in a tweet.
Last Friday, Khairy announced that Malaysians had been banned from travelling to seven countries, namely South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe, following the emergence of the new Covid-19 strain.
Sabah Health director Datuk Dr Rose Nani Mudin said the public in Sabah were getting complacent after getting their vaccination and booster shots.
She added that with the emergence of new variants such as Omicron, it was vital that full compliance with standard operating procedure was practised, especially in light of the resumption of economic and social activities.
“It doesn’t matter what the new variants are as the transmission method is similar, so we must make sure that we comply with the SOP more strictly than before,” she said.
Dr Rose cautioned that being fully vaccinated and having received a booster shot did not mean that the person was resistant to the virus.
However, the vaccine would help ease the severity of the symptoms if the person was infected but that would also not stop the virus from spreading, she said.
Although no cases involving the Omicron variant had been detected in Sabah so far, she said preparations were being made to face any eventualities.
“We are prepared to face an increase in cases but we are concerned about this possibility,” she told reporters following the closure of Sabah’s largest vaccination centre at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) here yesterday.
She said the SICC vaccination centre, which opened on July 28, had seen about 300,000 people getting vaccinated as of yesterday.
“Statewide, we have successfully jabbed 595,483 non-Malaysians, including the undocumented, as of Oct 30,” she added.