KUALA LUMPUR: Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin confirms that so far no Malaysian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia have been infected with monkeypox.
Speaking to reporters after officiating at the closing of the Strategy Transformation and Empowering Autism Care Workshop here on Friday (July 15), he said as far as the ministry knew, Malaysian pilgrims were in good health.
On smallpox cases in neighbouring Singapore, he said the information received by the ministry found three cases of local infection were detected in Singapore with one of them having a history of travel to Malaysia.
Commenting on the second Covid-19 booster dose, Khairy said currently it was only recommended to those aged 60 and above and those with chronic disease or comorbidity problems aged 18 and above.
On those under the age of 60 coming to the vaccination centres to get a second booster with the excuse of wanting to travel abroad, he said there was no need for them to do so.
"The view of the TWG (technical working group) is that currently there is no need for those aged 60 and under who are healthy to receive a second dose but the MOH will not stop them if they admit they want to travel abroad," he said.
Commenting on nearly seven million Malaysian adults yet to receive their booster dose, Khairy advised them to do so to reduce the serious effects of Covid-19 infection including death.
"For those who are adults and have not yet received the first booster, I appeal and encourage you to take it because we are facing a wave of BA.5 now," he said.
On the antiviral drug Paxlovid, Khairy said those who were at high risk and have mild symptoms or in categories 2 and 3, could take the drug but a doctor's evaluation was needed.
"If they are 60 years old and above and evaluated eligible by a family physician, they will receive Paxlovid and a list of health facilities that supply it can be found at covid-19.moh.gov.my," he said. - Bernama