Noor Hisham: 2 key steps behind Malaysia’s Covid-19 success

Malaysia’s strict border controls also helped to prevent the spread of Covid-19, says Dr Noor HIsham.

PUTRAJAYA: Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah says there are two key differences in Malaysia’s approach in handling the Covid-19 pandemic compared with certain countries.

He said this included the health ministry’s decision to quarantine and treat all positive cases in hospitals, whether they exhibited symptoms or not.

“In some other countries, even though a person tests positive for the virus but is asymptomatic or only shows mild symptoms, they’re quarantined and treated at home.

“Here in Malaysia, if they test positive, we will quarantine them in our hospital even though they have no symptoms. That’s what we do differently here compared to other countries,” he said at his daily press briefing today.

Noor Hisham said the health ministry had also made it compulsory for people returning home from abroad to undergo quarantine, whether it was self-isolation at home or mandatory quarantine at the ministry’s centres.

While those returning to Malaysia can now undergo self-isolation at home, he reiterated that they were still in compulsory quarantine.

Noor Hisham said this when asked about a new wave of Covid-19 infections reported in China.

He said Malaysia’s border controls have still not been relaxed. “By doing this, we can ensure that no infections from outside come into Malaysia. More importantly, we need to control local transmissions,” he said.

Noor Hisham also said discussions on a collaboration with China for research into a Covid-19 vaccine were continuing. China is currently conducting phase two of its vaccine’s clinical trials, with a report expected by November or December.

“In phase three of the trial, if the report is favourable and feasible, we will volunteer to conduct trials here in Malaysia,” he said.

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