Health Ministry devises strategies to deal with Omicron

PETALING JAYA: The Omicron variant may be less severe compared to the Delta variant, but its infectivity rate is very high, says Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The Health director-general said Omicron’s higher transmissibility could result in an increase in hospital admissions, especially among high-risk individuals, which in turn would add pressure on hospital capacity.

Latest information: A list of integrated PPVs offering walk-ins to senior citizens.Latest information: A list of integrated PPVs offering walk-ins to senior citizens.

“To prepare ourselves in facing any increase in cases in the future, the ministry has come up with several measures.

“These include using district hospitals as hybrid hospitals to treat Categories One to Three Covid-19 patients, and to refer Categories Four to Five patients to specialist hospitals. Stable Covid-19 patients are monitored at their homes via the Covid-19 Assessment Centre (CAC) until the end of their quarantine period,” he said in a statement.

“The ministry has also identified antiviral medicines that patients at CACs or low-risk quarantine centres can use.”

To manage the spread of Omicron, the public is advised to continue adhering to the SOP and also to obtain Covid-19 boosters.

In the ministry’s weekly Covid-19 analysis, Dr Noor Hisham said the number of cases in Epidemiology Week 2 (Jan 9-Jan 15) increased slightly by 0.7% to 22,006 cases compared to Epid Week 1 (Jan 2-Jan 8) when there were 21,859 cases.

In the same period, there was a decrease in the number of Covid-19 deaths (down by 11.3%), average intensive care unit bed usage (down by 8%) and average ventilator usage (down by 18.1%).

Yesterday, Malaysia recorded 2,342 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the country’s cumulative total to 2,810,689.

In a separate statement, the Health Ministry said the elderly were allowed to do walk-ins for Covid-19 booster shots starting tomorrow.

Walk-in can be done at four integrated Covid-19 vaccination centres (PPV) located in the Klang Valley, namely the World Trade Centre PPV in Kuala Lumpur, the Axiata Arena PPV in Bukit Jalil, the Ideal Convention Centre PPV in Shah Alam and the Soka Gakkai PPV in Klang.

Walk-in for the elderly at the World Trade Centre PPV, Axiata Arena PPV and Ideal Convention Centre PPV will be available only between 2pm and 8pm every day, except for public holidays. As for the Soka Gakkai PPV, the walk-in hours are noon to 4pm.

Offsite PPVs in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Negri Sembilan, Melaka, Penang and Sarawak will also be allowed to give booster shots to the elderly via walk-ins, starting from Jan 24.

“The list of offsite PPVs involved in the walk-in for the elderly will be announced by ProtectHealth Corporation,” said the ministry.

Elderly folk who wish to walk in for their booster shots must present their MySejahtera digital vaccination certificates to show they are eligible.

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