The Ministry of Health and health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah have always been transparent about the rate of infection in Malaysia and have always informed the public of the situation no matter how bad it is. As of now, we all know things aren’t looking great as several new clusters have been detected all across the country.
With that being said, the infectivity rate (also called R0 – pronounced as R-naught) has increased to 1.36. This number is a huge jump from an R0 of 0.3 during the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) which ended on 9th June, according to Dr Noor Hisham.
He said in a press conference on 23 July that if the R0 exceeds 1.6, Malaysia may see a surge in the number of new Covid-19 cases. Previously on 13 May, Dr Hisham said that if the R0 reaches 1.6, there could be an exponential surge of cases.
R0 is a mathematical term that indicates how contagious an infectious disease is, according to Healthline. For example, an R0 of 3.55 means that one infected person is able to spread the disease to 3.55 people, whereas an R0 of 1 means an infected person is able to spread it to one other person.
This means that with Malaysia’s current R0 of 1.36, one infected person is able to spread the disease to 1.36 people.
Dr Hisham added during the press conference that “the number of active cases with the infectivity rate on 9th July was 63, and on 23rd July, there is an increase of 143.”
“If the R-naught (R0) rises, we are worried that this means there are many who will be infected. What is dangerous is if the R-naught exceeds 1.6.”
Dr Hisham then pleads with Malaysians to continue obeying all instructions and standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the government in order to lower the rate of infection, reported Bernama.
“There are only three things which must be done which are social distancing, wearing masks and cleaning the hands often with soap or sanitiser,” he said.
Regarding the wearing of masks being made compulsory when in public transportation and crowded places starting 1st August, Dr Hisham urged the public to start wearing masks immediately instead of waiting for the enforcement date.
“Even though the order making it compulsory to wear masks will be enforced on 1st August, we must impose it on ourselves, our families to wear it earlier,” he said, adding that the wearing masks can reduce the infectivity rate of Covid-19 by up to 60 per cent while social distancing can bring it down by almost 70 per cent.
The future of Malaysia is in our hands. We are the frontliners and it is up to us to stop the spread of Covid-19 in our country. Please comply to the SOP and take care of yourselves!
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