Malaysia sees early signs curve is flattening in war against Covid-19, says Health D-G

Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya April 1, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya April 1, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 1 — With the end of the first phase of the movement order control (MCO), Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has expressed hope that numbers of Covid-19 cases so far may have shown that the restrictions have helped.

He said efforts made during the two-week restriction period have resulted in preventing a drastic rise in cases as people have been ordered indoors so as to not continue to spread the virus which has killed 45 Malaysians to date.

“If you look at this graph by the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) there used to be a drastic curve which showed a huge spike in cases.

“However if you look at it now, the curves flatten which shows early signs our efforts in calling the MCO has reduced cases,” said Dr Noor Hisham during his daily Covid-19 briefing at Putrajaya.

Despite the good news, Dr Noor Hisham said Malaysians must stay vigilant to curb the spread of the virus.

He added that the next two weeks — phase two of the movement control order (MCO) — will determine if the steps taken by the government have truly worked.

He said authorities have started to identify and isolate Covid-19 hot spots by enforcing stricter movement controls in these areas to facilitate better testing and treatment.

Dr Noor Hisham said the measures were the only way Malaysia could flatten the curve of Covid-19 infections and prevent these from overwhelming the country’s healthcare system.

On whether the pandemic could be controlled in time for Malaysians to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri in May, he said he could not predict this accurately.

Dr Noor Hisham acknowledged that Malaysians were eager for a return to normalcy, but said the country could not afford to ease up in the fight against Covid-19.

 “If you look at the graph, the signs are good that it can be contained and we are doing what we can to identify and treat those who have caught the virus.

“Despite that, what’s more important for all of us to do is to stay at home, wash our hands frequently and adhere to the social distancing rules. If we can do this, God willing we can change the trends and make our efforts a success,” he added.

Phase Two of the MCO takes effect from today till April 14.

A graph by the Institute of Economic Research (MIER) shows that the curve is flatter compared to a drastic curve previously. — Graph courtesy of MIER
A graph by the Institute of Economic Research (MIER) shows that the curve is flatter compared to a drastic curve previously. — Graph courtesy of MIER

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