Dr Noor Hisham: Malaysians in general have been compliant of SOPs, no exponential surge in Covid-19 cases

Shoppers line up at one of the stores at one of the shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur, May 26, 2020 — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Shoppers line up at one of the stores at one of the shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur, May 26, 2020 — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — Malaysians, in general, have been found to be compliant with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the Health Ministry to curb the spread of Covid-19 infections, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today.

Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry would now consider reopening several economic sectors based on existing data and facts with the primary focus now shifted to compliance rate among non-Malaysians.

“To date, eight days have passed since we celebrated Hari Raya and there is no exponential surge in new cases among Malaysians. This shows that Malaysians are compliant with the SOP.

“And we expect the following week to remain as it is with no surge in cases. If that is the case, then we may consider relaxing of movement for more sectors involving Malaysians,” he said in his daily Covid-19 press briefing here.

Dr Noor Hisham said with Malaysians complying with the existing SOPs, this would also mean that the infectivity rate or R-Naught (R0) will be less than 0.3, but would hover above 0.3 if foreigners were taken into account.

R0 is a mathematical term that indicates how contagious and infectious disease is. It’s also referred to as the reproduction number. As infection is transmitted to new people, it reproduces itself.

It tells the average number of people who will contract a contagious disease from one person with that disease, thereby reducing the RO value to less than 1 continuously will help to end the outbreak of the disease.

“What is important now is the focus on foreigners who should be obeying the SOPs like Malaysians. That is crucial.

“But we also need to look at issues they faced such as accommodation and environment. This means that employers must ensure their workers take precautionary measures and follow the SOPs.

“If both non-Malaysian and Malaysian are able to work together, then Insya Allah, we can break the chain of Covid-19 infection,” he said.

On the announcement by Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Putrajaya deciding to allow driving schools to resume operation starting tomorrow, Dr Noor Hisham expressed hope that Malaysians would continue to observe the existing SOPs such as distancing among each other and disinfecting commonly used areas within a vehicle.

The SOP will include checking the students’ and the teachers’ body temperature, sanitising the interior and exterior of the vehicle after each use and identifying the capacity of the premises to ensure proper social distancing.

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