PUTRAJAYA, May 2 — The Health Ministry (MOH) expects a spike of positive Covid-19 cases after the Aidilfitri celebration but a majority of cases are in categories one and two, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said the MOH had observed the trend of Covid-19 cases for the past two months and found that 99.5 per cent of them were in categories one and two with no symptoms and mild symptoms, and even positive case admissions to hospitals and intensive care units (ICUs) as well as the use of ventilators were decreasing and the number of deaths was also on the decline.

He added that excess mortality due to Covid-19 in 2020 and the first six months of 2021 were low compared with before the pandemic and found a surge in excess mortality in July and August last year.

“However, the excess mortality was successfully brought down in August and the following month with high vaccination coverage with the adult population exceeding 99 per cent, adolescents at 92 per cent and booster doses approaching 70 per cent.

“This gives the confidence to open up all sectors and return to the seemingly pre-pandemic but the fight is not over. MOH is still using four methods of dealing with Covid-19, namely with vaccination coverage, antiviral drugs, still maintaining the use of face masks in confined places and in open but crowded places is still encouraged as well as performing self-tests if there are symptoms,” he told the media after spending time with healthcare staff at the Putrajaya Hospital who were on duty on the first day of Syawal, here today.

Noor Hisham said a total of 1,503 positive cases were recorded yesterday and this was a positive development due to the vaccination coverage, providing herd immunity to the community.

“The MOH hopes that this trend will continue so that we can cope with Covid-19 well and live with the virus in its transition to endemic. If we work together and take responsibility by exercising self-control, we will be able to curb the spread.

“Thus far, after the reopening of the country’s borders on April 1, the MOH expects the number of cases to increase but it has been on the decline. This shows that herd immunity resistance is the vaccine and those who are infected and recovered have natural immunity. This will help the MOH control and curb the spread of Covid-19 infection in the country,” he said.

Noor Hisham said healthcare workers’ leave was not frozen this year so that they could celebrate Aidilfitri as the Covid-19 situation in the country was under control and it also provided an opportunity for self-reflection so that health services’ preparedness to be enhanced in the event of a surge in Covid-19 cases. — Bernama