Expect higher spike in cases over the next week, says health DG

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said they would be able to control the outbreak in Kedah as the main cluster was isolated in a jail.

PUTRAJAYA: Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah expects a spike in Covid-19 cases over the coming week due to targeted and widespread screenings in the four red zones in Sabah.

He said the two states with the most cases are Kedah and Sabah, but efforts are more concentrated in Sabah.

He assured that the government would be able to control the outbreak in Kedah as the main cluster — the Tembok cluster — was isolated in a jail.

“If there is a spike in cases, it is because of public health activities. This is because of the targeted enhanced movement control order (TEMCO) in four districts in Sabah.

“We are increasing our screening activities. When we do this, a rise in cases is expected,” he said, adding that this way more positive patients will be identified for isolation and treatment.

 Govt in better position to deal with spike

He said the public health activities in Sabah were not limited to the four TEMCO areas, but the whole of Sabah where roadblocks have been set up to curb travel between different districts.

“Screenings will be done this way too,” he told a press conference this evening.

Kedah’s Tembok cluster reported the highest number of cases of all active clusters, and Noor Hisham said he suspected the wave began from an infected prisoner, similar to what had happened in the Benteng LD cluster in Sabah.

“In Sabah, the prisoner was brought to Lahad Datu and spent the night at the lock-up. When the prisoner went back to the Tawau prison, the infection spread,” he said.

On a related matter, he said the government was more prepared to face a third wave of Covid-19 infections when compared to the early days of the pandemic in March or April.

“If we look at our preparations, we are more prepared, compared to March and April, in terms of equipment and experience to treat Covid-19 patients and also in terms of personal protective equipment (PPE) supply,” he said.