MCO has led to drop in measles, chicken pox cases, says health DG

People practising social distancing and keeping their hands clean has led to fewer cases of communicable diseases.

PUTRAJAYA: The movement control order (MCO), which was enforced to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, has also led to a reduction in other communicable diseases, especially those spread through contact, the health ministry said.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said this could be due to people being constantly reminded to practise social distancing and to take care of their personal cleanliness, including their hands.

The number of hand, foot and mouth diseases (HFMD) dropped by 44.6%, measles by 58.3% and chicken pox by 44.4% compared to 2019, he said.

“The drop in such cases is one of the positive implications of the MCO, coupled with good hygiene practices,” he said during his daily briefing here this evening.

However, Noor Hisham expressed concern that the level of immunisation among infants and children had also decreased.

He said this could be because parents feared bringing their children to clinics.

He said it was important for children to be immunised against vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, rubella and hepatitis B.

“Parents and carers are advised to keep to the immunisation schedule,” he said.

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