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Malaysia Might Enter The Endemic Phase Soon, But What Does That Really Mean?

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Endemic
Source: CNA & Quora

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What is an endemic? Does that mean that the pandemic is ‘end’-ing?

On 1 September, Minister of Health Khairy Jamaluddin said that Malaysians can expect the country to enter the ‘endemic phase’ by the end of October this year when 80% of the population is expected to be vaccinated and citizens would need to learn how to “live with the virus.”

But you may be thinking, what does endemic really mean and how is it different from a ‘pandemic’?

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According to WebMD, a pandemic can be defined as a disease that has spread over a large area, like throughout an entire country, continent, or even the whole world. For example, Covid-19 is a pandemic disease because it has spread to almost every country in the world.

An endemic, on the other hand, can be described as a disease that always exists in a community or place and is expected to always be there at a stable and low rate, according to the Ministry of Health Malaysia (KKM).

An example of an endemic disease in Malaysia is Dengue, or in other countries, Malaria or Cholera.

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When Khairy mentioned that the country is expected to enter the endemic phase by end of October, this means that Covid-19 will be considered an endemic disease in Malaysia and will always exist within the community.

This is when those residing in Malaysia will have to learn to live with the virus while adhering to standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the government. Some of these SOPs include wearing masks in public and getting tested regularly.

However, entering the endemic phase is only achievable when Malaysia has reached herd immunity with 80% of the population vaccinated. There is no guarantee that vaccination prevents infection, but it decreases the chances of hospitalisation and death.

Malaysia simply cannot be under lockdown forever as it will badly damage the economy. Sooner or later, more economic sectors will start opening up and more people will start moving around. It is impossible that we will reach zero Covid-19 cases anytime soon, therefore, the only way to get things moving to the new norm is to protect yourself and your loved ones by getting vaccinated!

 

Also read: KJ: Malaysia To Enter Endemic Phase By End Of Oct, Less Complicated SOPs To Be Released

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Source: SCMP


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