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Dr Noor Hisham: Malaysia in final recovery phase

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia is in the final phase of recovery following the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) since March 18 which has successfully reduced the number of new Covis-19 cases.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said with the implementation of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) since May 4, the infectivity rate or R-Naught (RO) had been reduced to 0.3, compared with 0.6 during the MCO period.

"Before the MCO, RO was 3.55, meaning one person could infect 3.55 people. When we implement the MCO, we reduced the R0 to 0.6 and now (during the CMCO), the R0 is 0.3.

"It means that an infected person can only infect 0.3 people, so it is decreasing. Right now, we are in the final stages of recovery," he said during an exclusive interview with Bernama here.

R0 is a mathematical term that indicates how contagious an infectious disease is (also referred to as the reproduction number). It is understood that reducing the RO value to less than 1 will eventually help to end the outbreak of the disease.

Dr Noor Hisham said the Health Ministry (MOH) would continue to monitor the situation in the country throughout the CMCO period which is enforced until June 9.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah says 95 more Covid-19 patients made a full recovery and were discharged today. – Bernama pic

"If the number of new cases can be maintained at a one digit number for more than a week, then it is likely that 100 per cent of the economic sector can be opened, as well as the social and educational sectors," he said.

He said based on data obtained from May 4 to 29, which was almost a month of the CMCO period, there were only about 200 cases involving Malaysians out of the 1,800 new Covid-19 cases reported in the country.

"This means that the CMCO is a success. Even with the MCO we had managed to flatten the curve.

"Success is possible not only because of what the Health Ministry and the government has done, but also because Malaysians adhere to the SOP," he said.

Dr Noor Hisham said apart from facing a sudden increase in cases involving illegal immigrants at the Immigration detention depots, the Health Ministry also anticipated a possible increase in cases as a result of interstate travel during the Hari Raya.

However, he said, the situation would be under control if the people continued to comply with the SOP set by the government.

"Maybe there will be an increase in cases, but not a drastic increase. If the people follow the SOP, we might not get the third wave.

"If the number of case is maintained at two digits or one figure, the CMCO period will end on June 9. We'll see how things go," he said.

No death due to Covid-19 was reported in Malaysia for the past seven days until yesterday.

The cumulative number of Covid-19 fatalities in the country remained at 115 cases or 1.49 per cent of the total number of positive cases in Malaysia, which was 7,732, as of yesterday. - BERNAMA

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