KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 ― The success of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP) is based upon three indicators, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said.
In the weekly Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) press conference today, Khairy listed the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) bed utilisation rate, hospitalisation rate as well as death rate as markers of the programme’s success.
Khairy, who is the coordinating minister for NIP, also reminded the public of the utmost importance of vaccination.
He said that despite the rise of cases involving the Delta variant, inoculation still remains the best way to protect oneself.
“So we hope that going forward, even with the Delta variant, numbers may still be high but what we would like to see and what we hope will be the outcome from the vaccination is that the key numbers that we need to be looking at, which is the death rate, the utilisation of ICU beds as well as the rate of hospitalisation comes down.
“That’s really going to be the next indication that we want to look at as far as the success of the NIP is concerned,” he said.
Khairy pointed to Labuan and Sarawak as proof of vaccination success stories, expressing hope that the same improvement will be seen in the Klang Valley.
“In Labuan and in Sarawak, we are seeing cases of hospitalisation and deaths have dropped in Labuan, for instance, a lot of Pfizer was used and in Sarawak, a lot of Sinovac was used, but both types of vaccines have to some extent succeeded in the reducing the hospitalisation and death rates in those two states.
“We hope to see this in the next few weeks in Selangor and KL as well, as more and more people receive their full second dose and are considered fully vaccinated, which is two weeks after the second dose.
“We hope, we pray that the number of people who are admitted into hospitals, into ICUs and the death rates come down in the Klang Valley,” he added.
Khairy said that with breakthrough infections which are happening due to the Delta variant, it is even more pertinent for people to get fully vaccinated as it will still protect from the worst outcome.
He also cautioned the public to not drop their guard, as many nations which relaxed their standard operating procedures (SOPs) find themselves reverting to the mandatory face-mask rule.
On the Hotspots Identification for Dynamic Engagement system (HIDE), Khairy said that the system is still in use, adding that data accumulated under the system cannot be revealed to the public as yet.
“We are not yet issuing the data publicly because of the current restrictions to movements, but HIDE is still being used to alert different places, if there is any potential risk of a place becoming a cluster,” he added.
On May 4, Khairy said that the system allows for risk assessment as well as forward and backward contact tracing of a particular hotspot and ultimately acts as a pre-emptive measure to contain Covid-19.
Khairy said the HIDE will take into account several factors including crowd density, confined spaces and air ventilation to predict whether a particular location could potentially be a Covid-19 hotspot.