Covid-19: M’sians not letting their guard down

PETALING JAYA: Even after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted as the country entered the transition to the endemic phase two years ago, Malaysians remain steadfast in taking care of their health.

Learning from the experience, more people are aware of the importance of self-care and pharmacies are making sure supplies are enough.Administrative clerk Jeremiah Wong, 27, said he prioritises his health now after contracting Covid-19 three times.

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The first infection was in 2022. The second and third happened within two months of each episode last year.

“Since then, I’ve been taking more supplements to boost my immune system. I also do light exercises twice a week,” he said.

He added that the pandemic also raised his awareness of the importance of maintaining personal hygiene at all times.“I now wear a mask whenever I feel unwell. This is something I didn’t do prior to the Covid-19 breakout.“I make it a point to sanitise my hands regularly and clean the house more often,” he said.

Operations executive J. Anand, 33, has made exercise a priority after he contracted the disease in 2020.

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“It took some time before I fully recovered,” he said.

“I then began exercising at least three times a week. I feel much better than before,” he said.

Anand added that being more physically active was one of the good habits he took up during the lockdowns.

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Accounts executive Azman Abdullah said wearing a mask is now second nature to him.

“I never leave the house without wearing one,” he said, adding that he adheres strictly by the said precaution as he is living with his grandmother.

“I don’t want to spread anything to her,” he said.

It has been observed by a pharmacy chain that while the sale of Covid-19 preventive and medical supplies has decreased, the public’s awareness of self-healthcare has been at an all-time high.

Caring Pharmacy head of procurement Foo Fung Jiun said there have been more people wearing face masks in public whenever they do not feel well and consuming immune-boosting supplements.

“The demand for face masks, test kits, and immune-boosting supplements appears to be decreasing.

“Nevertheless, there’s a noticeable increase in awareness regarding wearing face masks when feeling unwell, undergoing Covid-19 testing to exclude the possibility of an infection and maintaining a regimen of immune-boosting supplements compared to the pre-Covid-19 period,” he said.

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Foo said that even with lower sales on the supplies as the number of cases had gone down, the demand is still higher than before the pandemic.

“We used to only sell one type of mask – the blue three-ply kind. But now, customers want more colours and designs.

“Back then, most people were only familiar with Vitamin C supplements as an immune booster.

“After the pandemic, they want something better and stronger, like elderberry extracts and natural antioxidants, among others,” he told The Star.

However, the industry is also on the lookout for any spike in demand, especially during certain periods where Covid-19 infections increase, he said.

“For instance, there was a noticeable uptick in demand for these products in December, driven by an increase in Covid-19 cases within the community during that period.

“We are still selling disinfectants, gloves, thermometers, supplements, antigen test kits, paracetamol, portable oxygen tanks and oximeters in our stores.

“However, the inventory levels are certainly not as extensive as they were during the pandemic,” Foo added.

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Covid-19 , anniversary , Malaysia , pharmacy


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