Dr Noor Hisham: Malaysia entering Covid-19 recovery phase but still cannot ease up

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said Malaysians cannot afford to be complacent as the country could still experience another surge in Covid-19 cases despite increasing signs of a recovery. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said Malaysians cannot afford to be complacent as the country could still experience another surge in Covid-19 cases despite increasing signs of a recovery. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 — Malaysians cannot afford to be complacent as the country could still experience another surge in Covid-19 cases despite increasing signs of a recovery, said Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

Reminding Malaysians to strictly obey the movement control order (MCO) currently imposed nationwide, the Health director-general said it was evident that both phases one and two of the MCO were successful in flattening the peak of infections around April 3.

On April 3, Malaysia had recorded 217 new Covid-19 infections, the second highest since the disease was first detected locally. The record for the most cases in a single day was on March 26 when 235 cases were recorded.

“We were expecting a peak on April 14, with the prediction being 6,300 cases, but we did not see a peak so which meant perhaps the MCO one and two have actually flatten the peak.

“We realise now we are on a recovery phase, not a peak phase. So we hope that we can continue our momentum and make sure we can control the cases and reduce the cases from time to time,” he said in his daily Covid-19 press briefing here.

The Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) previously projected that Malaysia’s Covid-19 cases would peak in the middle of this month, which JPMorgan’s Asia-Pacific Equity Research group echoed in a recent report.

In the region, Singapore has seen an exponential rise in new Covid-19 cases recently, with new infections doubling between every one and two days, although these appeared to have plateaued at the moment.

Dr Noor Hisham then cautioned that it was not inconceivable that the previously predicted exponential spread of Covid-19 could still occur here if Malaysians “let their guards down”.

“Nonetheless, it is not impossible (for us) to have an exponential surge if we let guards down. So it’s important for us to make sure that we continue to follow what we have done in phase one, two and currently three of the MCO.

“Definitely we are seeing signs of success of the MCOs,” he said.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced yesterday a further two-week extension to the MCO, which was set to expire on April 28, until May 12.

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