‘No plans to re-impose MCO’

PETALING JAYA: Despite the spike in Covid-19 cases nationwide, the Health Minister says the government is not considering re-imposing the movement control order but urged the people to increase their vigilance.

Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the present situation is under control and the ministry is ready to handle any eventuality.

He called on Malaysians to take precautionary measures and stay on guard to keep the virus at bay.

“At present, the situation is not causing a burden on our health facilities and there is no cause for alarm.

“The ministry hopes that the situation can be handled without having to re-impose the MCO.

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“We are prepared for a surge in cases where our health facilities, be it public, private, universities, the military and NGO (premises), are all ready to receive patients.

“Beds, access and treatments are all on standby and so for those who are concerned, the ministry is taking all precautions,” he told a press briefing yesterday.

Dr Dzulkefly said the ministry has prepared a five-point strategy to deal with the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases.

These include early case detection via the Heightened Alert System (HAS), community tracing via TRIIS (test, report, isolate, inform and seek) system, monitoring of health facilities, effective risk communication and digitisation of the health system via the MySejahtera application.

“Maintain your distance from one another, practise good hygiene, wear masks in indoor or at crowded spaces and get booster shots, especially for those in the high-risk categories.

“For those in categories one and two, self-isolation by staying at home is sufficient but those in categories three, four and five should go to the hospital,” he advised.

Dr Dzulkefly said between Dec 10 and Dec 16, 20,696 cases were reported nationwide, an increase of 62.2% compared with the previous week.

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He took heart that 97% of the new cases comprised those in the low-risk categories of one and two.

A total of 28 deaths were recorded, with 151 patients being warded in intensive care and 96 requiring breathing assistance.

Most of the reported fatalities were of those aged over 60 (85%) and patients with chronic illnesses (93%), with the death rate at 0.1%, he added.

Of the total new cases, he said 609 were foreigners, with 19 imported cases involving 18 Malaysians and one foreigner.

The number of clusters recorded nationwide stood at 18.

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The minister said there were no reports of new variants in the country except for the existing Omicron and its sub-variants.

To a question on vaccines, Dr Dzulkefly said the country has enough stock to cater to all including those wanting booster jabs.

To ease the vaccination process, he said Malaysians can make appointments or simply walk in to any health facility.

Asked if the government was looking at making it compulsory again for the public to do a MySejahtera scan before entering premises, Dr Dzulkefly said there were no such plans.

“Due to the current global phenomenon of Covid-19 cases increasing, we are also expecting a surge in the country but experience has taught us that this situation will only last between four and six weeks,” he added.

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