Malaysia is no exception, with communities letting adherence to SOPs slip, says health DG
KUALA LUMPUR : Although a number of countries have begun mass Covid-19 vaccinations, they are still seeing high infection rates, possibly due to pandemic fatigue, said Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
Dr Noor Hisham said, as a community experiences “pandemic fatigue”, they tend to forgo and even forget strict compliance with standard operating procedures (SOPs).
“Besides that, loosening border controls, resuming economic activities as well as allowing mass gatherings have caused Covid-19 cases to spike in many countries,” he said in a statement today.
This is a cause of concern as it gives rise to new mutations of the virus, he added.
As of today, the global pandemic tally has exceeded 153 million infections and 3.2 million deaths.
The US has the highest reported cases at 32.4 million, followed by 19.9 million in India and Brazil with 14.8 million infections.
“A lot of countries globally have recorded infection spikes and deaths, even though many have begun national immunisation programmes,” he said.
Drawing parallels with Malaysia, Dr Noor Hisham said a similar pattern can be seen locally beginning last month, when the nation logged 61,984 fresh infections and 235 deaths in a span of four weeks.
Dr Noor Hisham said the rise in Covid-19 cases has strained the national health sector, causing hospital capacities to be stretched to the limit and more medical personnel mobilised.
“Based on the national Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) statistics, the ICU hospitalisation rate has exceeded 70% at Sg Buloh Hospital, Ampang Hospital, Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Serdang Hospital and Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang,” Dr Noor Hisham said.
A number of steps will be taken by the Health Ministry to address these critical issues, he added, including increased genomic surveillance of Covid-19 test samples, implementing Phase 2 of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, increasing enforcement of SOPs and empowering communities to fight the pandemic.