Health Ministry steps up preparedness following China's Covid-19 surge, says Dr Noor Hisham

KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry (MOH) will continue to step up its preparedness to face a possible hike in the number of daily Covid-19 cases and deaths following the surge of infections in China.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said among the measures to be taken was to increase the percentage of booster dose uptake to reduce the severity of infections and the risk of death.

"MoH is urging all eligible individuals to take their booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine so that the Malaysian population gets optimal protection against Covid-19,” he said in the statement on Tuesday (Dec 27).

The rising number of Covid-19 cases in China was reported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Dec 21.

The ministry will also strengthen the country’s Covid-19 management through the digitalisation of health management by improving the automated Find, Test, Trace, Isolate, and Support (FTTIS) approach.

Through the approach, individuals who conduct Covid-19 self-tests can report their test results to the MySejahtera application where positive cases will be given a home surveillance order and release order digitally.

In addition, Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry would also ensure that all Covid-19 Assessment Centres (CAC) were ready to receive a high number of patients.

The CAC’s operational functions include identifying patients who are suitable for home quarantine, as well as evaluating and monitoring a patient’s progress throughout the isolation period.

The CIC will also start Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir or ritonavir) treatment for high-risk Covid-19 patients, identify and coordinate patients who need to be referred to the hospital as well as assess and discharge positive cases whose isolation period has expired.

Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry had also introduced the use of the antiviral drug Paxlovid to the Covid-19 Clinical Care Pathway since April 15 to treat patients with mild to moderate symptoms or categories two and three with priority given to high-risk patients.

He said the use of such drugs and treatments has also been extended to private health facilities where the provision of the drug to patients is free. However, patients are still subject to consultation charges determined by the private health facility.

According to Dr Noor Hisham, the ministry would closely monitor the spread of the infection in the community through the implementation of surveillance activities involving sentinel locations of influenza-like-illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) nationwide.

"It is also supported by whole genome sequencing (WGS) activities to detect new variants as well as environmental surveillance through sewage water sampling from identified locations throughout the country,” he said.

He also advised the public to practice a healthy lifestyle and TRIIS to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and other diseases, in addition to wearing face masks in crowded areas. - Bernama

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MOH , Dr Noor Hisham , COVID-19 , CAC , WHO


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