Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that the Ministry of Health (MOH) wants to tighten the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) currently being implemented in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Selangor and Sabah to curb the spread of Covid-19.
In a press conference on 18 October, he said that the matter will be proposed to the National Security Council in the near future, reported Sinar Harian.
“We tighten it and allow the economic sector only. All forms of assembly involving a large number of participants need to be reduced to break the chain of Covid-19 infections,” he said.
Additionally, starting 19 October, the National Security Council has decided to allow owners and operators of commercial sports facilities in CMCO areas such as commercial football fields, gymnasiums and futsal centres as well as commercial badminton halls to operate again.
On a separate matter, Dr Noor Hisham explains in a post on his Facebook page that the infectivity rate of Covid-19 has decreased ever since the third wave began on 20 September 2020.
To measure the infectivity rate, the R0 (pronounced R-naught) value is used. An R0 of 1.5, for example, means that one infected person is able to transmit the virus to 1.5 other individuals.
In Dr Noor Hisham’s post, he recalls the timeline of the R0 value measured throughout the Covid-19 outbreak in Malaysia.
When the Movement Control Order (MCO) was first implemented on 18 March 2020, the R0 value was at an all-time high of 3.5. After drastic measures taken by the government and the people’s compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOP), the R0 value was successfully lowered to 0.3.
However, the R0 value went up to 1.7 on 7 September 2020 during the increase in cases in Kedah and Sabah at the time and increased even more to 2.2 at the start of the third wave on 20 September 2020.
“The third wave of the Covid-19 epidemic in Malaysia is indeed more challenging even though we are better prepared in terms of capacity and public health action,” Dr Noor Hisham said.
“The R0 value at the beginning of the third wave of 20 September 2020 is 2.2, but within four weeks it has decreased to 1.5.”
Dr Noor Hisham explains that so far, the efforts carried out have been able to avoid a sharp increase in cases as predicted in the graph (line R = 2.2).
He says that as of now, the R0 value has remained at 1.5, which means that the daily Covid-19 cases will still increase but not abruptly.
“This projection is very important because it shows that there is still room for us to try to control this third wave situation. All efforts of the Public Health in the field must be continued and doubled, movement control must be tightened and the people must help the country by sitting at home,” he writes.
“The Covid-19 infection chain must be severed. As mentioned earlier, if the infection chain can be broken it will control the transmission and the R0 value will also drop lower than 1.0 to less than 0.3.”
Dr Noor Hisham once again urges everyone to play their respective roles in curbing the spread of Covid-19 while frontliners work tirelessly to treat patients in the hospital.
“Sit at home if you have no business outside. If it is necessary to leave the house on important matters, the community is requested to comply with the prescribed SOP.”
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