KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — The ‘war’ to curb the Covid-19 pandemic is intensifying and is now more concentrated in the Klang Valley due to its high population density and movement activities, says Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

Therefore, he said besides increasing the vaccination rate, strict controls had been put in place during these two weeks to curb the spread of the virus in the area.

“These two weeks is to give us time, so that we can identify the areas involved, increase screenings as well detect cases among close contacts and reduce infections within the community.

“Secondly, it’s to increase vaccination in the Klang Valley. Selangor is still far (behind) because its population is so large, so in terms of vaccinations, there may be many doses being administered, but the percentage (with regard to its population) is still low,” he said when appearing as a guest on Bernama TV programme The Nation, hosted by Bernama chairman Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi here, last night.

Malaysia recorded 9,353 new Covid-19 cases yesterday, Selangor being the highest contributor with 4,277 cases, followed by Kuala Lumpur (1,398).

Dr Noor Hisham said he believed the Covid-19 virus could be controlled once the vaccination rates went up, with priority to be given to high-risk areas and sectors which are currently allowed to operate under Phase One of the movement control in the National Recovery Plan (PPN).

He said with the increased capacity of administering 300,000 and 400,000 doses of vaccines per day, the Ministry of Health (MoH) expected 70 to 80 per cent of the Malaysian population to be vaccinated by September or early October.

He said the positive outcome of the vaccination drive would become more apparent once at least 50 per cent of the population had been vaccinated.

Meanwhile, he said health workers from states that had entered Phase Two of the PPN would be stationed at Covid-19 hotspots such as in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.

Admitting the fact that health frontliners were experiencing burnout after fighting the pandemic for almost two years, he advised the ‘national heroes’ to persevere and not give up the fight against the pandemic.

“This is a long war, and it takes time. We are all affected, including Malaysian citizens and the frontliners. It’s a very intense war now,” he said. — Bernama