PUTRAJAYA: Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah says the number of cases of other infectious diseases has gone down more than 60% thanks to the implementation of SOPs for Covid-19.
He said measures such as social distancing and good personal hygiene were successful not only in curbing the spread of Covid-19 but also diseases such as measles, hand, foot and mouth (HFMD) and chickenpox.
He said this when asked on a new type of swine flu detected by researchers in China that was reportedly capable of triggering a pandemic.
He said the continual practice and adherence to SOPs, coupled with the strict control of the country’s international borders, would prevent any such new virus from spreading here.
“If we continue to take preventive measures and take care of our health and hygiene, we can break the chain of infection of all infectious diseases,” he said during his daily press briefing today.
He added that the Veterinary Services Department would be releasing a statement on the new swine flu strain, named G4, detected in China.
Scientists at Chinese universities and China’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said the G4 virus was genetically descended from the H1N1 strain and had the “essential hallmarks” of a virus that is highly infectious to humans.
Tests also show that any immunity humans gain from exposure to seasonal flu does not provide protection from G4.
While new daily Covid-19 cases hit an all-time low today since the second wave of infections, Noor Hisham said the health ministry will continue with its targetted testing approach to monitor those who are at high risk.
He said the ministry will continue to screen those in old folks homes, for example, although no new cases were recorded in the community.
He added that Influenza-like Illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) patients will continue to be screened along with patients going for surgeries.
He said these screenings are a good indicator for community transmissions, adding that the positive rate for these testings is only 0.1% currently.
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