Covid-19: Expect more cases in next few days, says health ministry

Dr Noor Hisham – Picture from Bernama

By John Isaac

THE Health Ministry predicts a hike in Covid-19 cases in the next two to three days due to active public health measures being undertaken, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said.

The Health director-general, however, assured that the ministry and other related agencies would continue with proven strategies to flatten the curve, and hoped the numbers would improve within the next two to three weeks, particularly in Sabah.

“Among the activities include community surveillance, influenza-like illness and severe acute respiratory infection screenings, pre-surgery screenings, testing at domestic and international entry points, border control and close contact tracing activities.

“These are all important. We expect to see more cases in the next two to three days because of our health activities.

“Those who are positive will be treated, and those who are negative but have been exposed will be quarantined,” he said during a Facebook live session reported in The New Straits Times.

Dr Noor Hisham reminded the public to adhere to the standard operating procedures such as practicing physical distancing and putting on a face mask.

“If you have no urgent matters, stay at home,” he stressed.

The ministry yesterday logged 561 new Covid-19 cases. Nearly 87 per cent of the cases were recorded in Sabah.

Dr Noor Hisham also noted that the current third wave’s infectivity rate or R-Naught (R0) started lower at 2.3 compared to 3.55 in the second wave.

He said the country’s current reproduction number (Rt) had improved from 2.3 to 1.3, because of the health activities conducted by the authorities.

“We hope to lower the R0 to 0.3 by October 31. If the 1.3 Rt maintains, we will see a slow increase in cases by the end of the month.

“We must prevent our R0 from jumping to 2.2. This is where we will see a sharp increase in cases, and where Health Ministry facilities would not be able to accommodate,” he added.