KUALA LUMPUR, May 27 — Malaysia is playing it safe by choosing to ward patients for at least 14 days, instead of the 10 days stated in World Health Organisation (WHO) findings as the virus’ incubation period.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that WHO’s official stance is that a patient is not infectious after 10 days of contracting the virus, but the authorities here have chosen to go with a standard operating procedure (SOP) of 14 days.
“Some of our patients are warded for up to two months and still show residual signs of the virus.
“Even though a person is asymptomatic, the infectious period is there so that is a factor we have to consider in hospitalisation. Also, two to three days before any symptoms show is when the infectivity increases,” he said.
Yesterday, Dr Noor Hisham said that the authorities would change its Covid-19 treatment protocol and discharge patients after 14 days even if they test positive for the virus. Patients would then undergo home quarantine for 14 days.
This follows WHO’s report that a patient’s infectivity levels have been found to plunge to zero after two weeks. Even those with a ‘weak positive’ test result will be allowed to be discharged.
Dr Noor Hisham also said that those who insist on not going home could be moved to a separate location.
“These are for those who are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms based on evidence after 10 days of lab tests and cultures. We are fine tuning how to arrange these cases,” he said.