KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 — Caretaker health minister Khairy Jamaluddin today said that Malaysia is experiencing a small wave of Covid-19 infections, after an increase in case numbers.

Given the current situation, Khairy said that mask usage is now “highly recommended” even though it remains voluntary.

He said that between October 23 and 29, new infection cases increased by 16.5 per cent to 16,917 cases from the previous week’s 14,255 cases.

Khairy also said during a press conference in Putrajaya today that the number of patients in hospitals also grew by 14.3 per cent, for every 100,000 people.


“However, we found that in terms of entry to government hospitals, the most is among those who have mild symptoms. Not serious symptoms, he said, adding that the use of beds in the intensive care units (ICUs) have only increased by 2 per cent.

“In other words, we are being faced with a small wave,” he said, adding that the ministry is unsure if the wave will worsen, and it all depends on community efforts to prevent the situation from worsening.

However, he stressed that overall Covid-19 situation remained under control despite the main indicators showing an uptick.


“This is what it means to live with Covid. We no longer have restrictions, we no longer have mandates, but the Health Ministry must advise and make recommendations when we find that the infection trend has started to increase,” he added.

Khairy said that while the increase in new cases were found to have been driven by the Omicron variant, the ministry suspected the catalyst to be the XBB sub-variant.

“Bottomline, cases are rising slightly. Hospitalisations are rising slightly. Nothing to worry about, the situation is under control, but we must take precautions because we are in the transition to the endemicity phase.

“Today is just a friendly reminder to Malaysians that yes, we are on an uptrend right now, let’s be careful,” he said.

Khairy also advised political parties and politicians to lead by example in observing the standard operating procedures (SOPs) during their 15th general election campaign activities and walkabouts.

He said that the ministry has already sent its view and recommendations to the Election Commission (EC) on the Covid-19 SOPs on polling day and that the EC will be announcing the details.