PETALING JAYA: There is a high possibility of an Omicron wave hitting Malaysia, just like what other countries are experiencing, says Khairy Jamaluddin.
To help contain the transmission of the highly infectious Covid-19 variant, the Health Minister said key measures have been put in place, such as providing extensive booster dose coverage, requiring face masks, ensuring good ventilation, implementing TRIIS (test, report, isolate, inform and seek), activating the MySejahtera Trace system and imposing tighter controls at international entry points.
Although some may argue that Omicron is less severe than the Delta variant, Khairy said Omicron was more infectious and would still strain the health system and facilities if infections increase.
“Like other countries, it is very likely that the Omicron wave will start in Malaysia.
“Extensive booster dose coverage, face masks, good ventilation, #TRIIS, MySJ Trace and international gateway control are among the measures to slow Omicron.”
He said that some had pointed out that the Omicron impact data was not as severe as that of Delta.
“It looks like that. But the infectiousness of Omicron is higher than Delta. If the case denominator is larger, definitely hospitalisation and ICU (intensive care unit) use will go up,” he said.
In a series of tweets yesterday, he said the ministry wanted to avoid crippling the public health system.
“Strategy: slow down Omicron,” he posted.
Khairy tweeted this in relation to Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah declaring that the national infectivity rate of Covid-19 on Jan 1 stood at 0.99, an increase from 0.98 from the day before.
As at Dec 31, 2021 Malaysia recorded a total of 64 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant.