With over 11,000 new cases reported today (over 10,000 new cases yesterday), people are understandably concerned about the surging numbers, and in response to that, Khairy Jamaluddin, our Health Minister, has stepped up earlier today in a press conference to clear the air a little. We’ll be highlighting some important points from said press conference, but before that, just two things: you can watch the press conference here, and the Ministry will be announcing an update to the SOPs tomorrow (8 February 2022).
Okay, let’s get right into it.
1. There won’t be another MCO (unless things get really bad)
People who hate MCOs can now collectively breathe a sigh of relief cuz the Health Minister clarified that curbing mobility is the last thing the government wants to do, much less implement another round of MCO. KJ said that while the increased mobility since the last MCO was a contributing factor to the increasing case numbers, the country can’t afford to have another lockdown and as long as the healthcare system isn’t critically overburdened, the 0micr0n wave can be dealt with… provided we the people follow the SOPs that are in place.
Employers were urged to let their employees work from home, or failing that, have them come into the workplace in rotations.
2. Things aren’t that bad right now, even with the new case numbers
Yes, the numbers are high. And they’ll rise even higher. According to Khairy, we’ll probably see the peak of the current wave sometime in late March. That said, he also claimed that what we’re seeing now isn’t out of the Ministry’s expectations due to the 0micr0n variant’s higher transmissibility.
As high as the numbers are, he emphasized that our healthcare system is prepared for the influx of new cases, with 33% of the non-ICU hospital beds being occupied (up 4% from last week), and only 14% of the ICU beds being used (DOWN 1% from last week). The Ministry is also gearing up to combat the wave with the reactivation of the National C19 Rapid Response Task Force (RRTF) – whose purpose is to add or convert hospital beds for C19 use, setting up field hospitals and outsourcing patients to the private sector in areas or states with extreme case numbers.
On top of that, countries around the global are seeing similar spikes in new cases, so it’s not like we’re the odd one out. Here’s what these countries reported on 4 February (Singapore) and 5 February (the rest):
- Singapore – 13,208
- South Korea – 38,670
- Indonesia – 33, 729
- Thailand – 10,879
- The Philippines – 7,469
- Australia – 22,985
- Japan – 102,275
3. Senior citizens over 60 & Sin0vac takers SHOULD get their boosters done
During the press conference, it was mentioned that as of 6 February, 78.8% of Malaysians above the age of 12 have taken both the initial v4cc1n3 doses, and 52.8% of adults above the age of 18 received their booster shots.
In the same breath, KJ said that everybody should get their boosters done – especially senior citizens over the age of 60 and adults above 18 who got two doses of S1n0v4c. The people in those two categories should ideally, according to Khairy, get their booster jabs before 1 March 2022 to avoid being rejected from entering places which require MySejahtera scans. To ease the process for the 60-and-overs, they can walk into any PPVs to receive their boosters.
4. People with light symptoms can self-isolate at home
The public is advised to undergo self-testing if they show any C19 symptoms, and upload the results using the MySejahtera app. Depending on the severity of symptoms, you can either self-isolate at home or head to the nearest C19 assessment center. Here’s the breakdown:
Below 60 years old and have no comorbidities showing no symptoms or light symptoms
Just stay at home for 7 days (fully v4cc1n4ted & no symptoms) or 10 days (1 dose or unv4cc1n4ted and/or light symptoms). Monitor and report your condition daily using the Health Assessment Tool in MySejahtera, and you will be contacted should the Ministry require you to go to a CAC.
Above 60, have comorbidities or are showing more severe symptoms
Go to a CAC or a hospital near you, stat.