Health Ministry expects 12 weeks of lockdown needed to flatten Covid-19 curve
KUALA LUMPUR— Twelve weeks of the movement control order (MCO) could allow health authorities to contain the runaway Covid-19 infection rate by May, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said on the first day of the renewed lockdown.
In a press briefing today, he said it was still too early to see the effects of the MCO but insisted that it was the right move to help Malaysia suppress the growth of Covid-19 infections.
“With these procedures, we hope we can reduce the curve — based on our projection — by 12 weeks but we will implement two weeks first and see what the developments are in these two weeks and whether there is a need (to extend the MCO) or otherwise, it will depend on the data.
“And our projection is that by May, we can flatten the curve of Covid-19 cases in our country,’’ he said.
Pahang, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan will remain under the conditional MCO while Perlis and Sarawak will return to recovery MCO measures.
In his special address on Monday, Muhyiddin stated the Covid-19 pandemic was starting to overwhelm the country’s major public hospitals, 15 of which he said was already nearing their maximum capacity.
Malaysia reported 2,985 new Covid-19 cases in the country today compared to yesterday’s record high of 3,309 infections.
Dr Noor Hisham also announced four more Covid-19 deaths today. -MALAY MAIL
MCO will last 4 weeks tops, says DG
PUTRAJAYA: Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah says the movement control order (MCO) which started today would only last a maximum of four weeks.
In a press conference, he said this is because the government was aware of the economic impact of the MCO, adding that the Covid-19 chain of infection can be broken if everyone stayed at home for the next two weeks.
“We enforced the conditional MCO from Oct 14 but we felt that it wasn’t suitable. We needed to use a more drastic measure, so we have now imposed the MCO for two weeks or, if necessary, a maximum of four weeks,” he said.
“We don’t want the MCO to be prolonged because of the economic impact, but if everyone can stay home for the next two weeks, God-willing, we can break the chain of infection,” he added.
He also said the government would impose a CMCO after the end of the MCO, expressing hope that the number of daily cases could be reduced to less than 500 a day to lighten the load on the healthcare system.
Through this, Noor Hisham said, the curve of Covid-19 infections could be flattened again by May or June.
“But, of course, that depends on the cooperation between the health ministry, the government and Malaysians. We must unite to break the chain of Covid-19 in our country.”
He said Malaysia’s current trajectory put the infection rate (R0, pronounced R naught) above 1.1, citing how yesterday and today’s cases were above the health ministry’s projections.
He said the current R0 was estimated to be around 1.16 or higher, adding that he hoped the MCO would be able to help flatten the curve.
“What’s more important is that we are on the right track. We hope that everyone can stay home during this time. If you have to go out, remember to follow the SOPs.” FREE MALAYSIA TODAY
MALAY MAIL / FREE MALAYSIA TODAY