Dr Noor Hisham: Covid-19 study found low antibodies in recovered patients from Sungai Lui cluster

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah at a press conference in Putrajaya March 24, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah at a press conference in Putrajaya March 24, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May

PUTRAJAYA, July 14 — A study conducted by the Health Ministry (MOH) on patients who have recovered from Covid-19 in the Sungai Lui cluster found low level of antibodies at about 20 per cent which means they could get infected again.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said studies from other countries also found that those were infected with Covid-19 faced diminishing antibodies eight weeks after recovery.

“By right, those who have been infected with Covid-19 should experience increasing antibodies up to 80 per cent,” he told reporters at a media conference on Covid-19 development at MOH here today.

As such, he said Malaysia is considering carrying out a third phase study on Covid-19 to find the best method to stimulate lasting antibodies in a patient who has recovered.

Commenting on zero local transmission of Covid-19 today, Dr Noor Hisham said it was according to MOH’s modelling projection which earlier said that by this date, there would be zero local transmission.

“The new positive cases of Covid-19 today were import cases from foreign transmission which we cannot control,” he added.

Asked on the worries of MOH now, Dr Noor Hisham said he was afraid that the people would start to be laxed and return to normal lifestyle without complying to the standard operating procedure (SOP).

“The virus (Covid-19) is still here and can spread or return if we do not take preventive measures or maintain good hygiene,” he said.

Asked if MOH would propose making face mask mandatory, Dr Noor Hisham said MOH would not resort to such a move.

“However, MOH is encouraging the people to wear face mask especially in public places,” he said. — Bernama

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