KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 7 — The Omicron wave that has officially hit Malaysia is expected to peak at the end of March, the Ministry of Health (MoH) announced today.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said this was the MoH’s best estimation to date, and not a finality, as it continues to monitor the rise in Covid-19 cases.
His comments came as Malaysia breached the 10,000 daily case mark yesterday for the first time since October 2, 2021.
“We have our experts running mathematical models right now. At the moment, the peak looks like it probably would be at the end of March. This tracks with other countries where it takes around two months for it to peak.
“That means the booster dose immunity has protected most people or those who are not protected got Omicron but have natural immunity.
“What we would like to do is blunt this exponential rise by asking employers to allow workers to work from home, take booster doses and encourage self tests before meeting friends,” Khairy said today during a “live” telecast from Putrajaya.
Malaysia is currently experiencing a fourth wave of infections due to the highly infectious Omicron variant. Cases today hit more than 11,000 with numbers expected to rise further in the coming weeks.
Khairy urged employers to start using the work from home or rotation system for their employees, asked restaurant owners to be stricter about checking patrons’ MySejahtera status as well as encouraging self-test kits before visiting other households.
Khairy said Malaysia is prepared for the Omicron wave as the healthcare system is geared up for the surge.
He said hospitals are on standby to switch to hybrid operational mode and there are 370 Covid assessment centres nationwide ready to test positive patients.
“We hope in a month or two, we can curb this Omicron wave or stabilise it. Other countries took the same amount of time to see a dip in Omicron cases.
“If we all play our role by getting booster shots, encouraging our kids to take the vaccine, God willing, in a month or two, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri,” he added.
Khairy said the majority of Omicron infections in the country have been Category 1 and 2 cases; hence, hospitals are not inundated with cases.
In the meantime, he urged parents not to be alarmed over the rising number of clusters in schools as the cases are being managed well.
He said there are no plans to close schools again and recommence the learning from home programme as Malaysia has been one of the countries with a lot of missed school dates.
“We are one of the countries with the longest school closures and to do that now, with vaccination rates high, would be a step back.
“If it is a serious outbreak, we will reassess the situation. Right now, most of the clusters are in boarding schools,” he said.