KUALA LUMPUR: While many people may no longer see it as a threat in the post-pandemic stage, there is still a need to ensure the vulnerable are protected from Covid-19.
Malaysian Medical Association president Dr Muruga Raj Rajathurai said a rise in Covid-19 cases was possible as more gatherings are held during the festive period.
"Moreover, there is no facemask mandate now. Whether there is a rise in severe cases, it will depend on whether people have heeded the advice given on the need to mask up when it is necessary," he said.
He said the public had been advised to wear facemasks when in the presence of the elderly, those with comorbidities and when in spaces with poor ventilation as well as conducting self test when experiencing Covid-related symptoms.
Dr Muruga said while Covid-19 cases may go up during the post-festive period, he did not foresee a significant rise in hospitalisations as most cases were mild and did not require hospital admission.
"However, we believe the Health Ministry has ensured that its facilities are well prepared should there be an increase in severe cases of Covid-19."
The ministry reported six more cases of Covid-19 XBB1.16 or Arcturus, an Omicron subvariant, in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, bringing its total number to 12.
The patients were reported to suffer mild symptoms and were in stable condition.
A total of 562 new Covid-19 cases were reported on Saturday, with 190 of them admitted and no death reported.