Possible to curb Covid-19 without vaccine, says health DG

Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said Covid-19 screenings should be carried out at the various police headquarters.

PUTRAJAYA: Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah says the Covid-19 chain of infection can be broken without a vaccine in Malaysia, citing the country’s success in curbing the SARS and MERS epidemics before.

“We do not have a vaccine for (SARS and MERS) until today, but we have been able to curb the viruses through our public health initiatives without using a vaccine.

“So there is a possibility, if we follow the SOPs and health advice, that we can break the Covid-19 chain of infection without a vaccine. It’s not impossible,” he said at his daily press briefing today.

He added that recent studies have shown that practising social distancing reduces one’s risk of contracting the virus by 60% while wearing a mask and frequently washing hands further reduces the risk of infection.

The 2002–2004 SARS outbreak was an epidemic involving severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by a coronavirus strain. Another coronavirus strain caused the MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) or “camel flu” epidemic from 2012-2018.

New cluster detected in Gombak

A new Covid-19 cluster has been detected in Gombak, Selangor, with a total of five cases detected as of today. The cluster, which reported one new case today, involves staff at the Gombak police headquarters.

Noor Hisham said such outbreaks showed why there was a need for screenings to be conducted at police headquarters from time to time.

He said the virus was still in the community and a person could get exposed tomorrow despite testing negative today, reiterating the need for social distancing and good hygiene.

The second construction site cluster in Lembah Pantai, Kuala Lumpur and Cheras apartment cluster reported one new case each.

No cases were reported from any of the immigration depots and no test results are pending.

The 28 other clusters did not report any new cases.


Fake or not? Check our quick fake news buster here.