PETALING JAYA: After more than 15,000 Covid-19 cases were reported in Malaysia today, the health ministry needs to carry out random antibody sampling from patients around the country to know the direction in which we are headed, says ex-deputy health minister Dr Lee Boon Chye.
He said this was because lockdowns seem to have failed and fresh data is needed on the number of people with antibodies against Covid-19.
In India, he said the government has released figures that two-thirds of its population have developed antibodies. Due to that, the number of cases there are falling despite the slower vaccination rate.
“Once people get infected, they build antibodies. The body fights back and the infectivity gets lower.
“They are less likely to transmit (the virus) to others,” he told FMT.
He said the antibody sampling could be carried out on patients in normal wards, public clinics and from among those donating blood.
These, he said, would give the government the data needed to gauge the possible reduction in infections.
Malaysia recorded 15,573 Covid-19 cases today. In India, which had reported 400,000 daily cases in April, the number of cases is now hovering around 30,000 daily.
He said Malaysia will likely undergo its toughest period in the next few weeks as the numbers rise further.
“It will all depend on how many people have been infected and the number of people vaccinated,” he said.
Lee said those with doubts about having received empty Covid-19 shots could also do blood sampling to check on their antibodies.
He said this could be done after at least three weeks of their second dose. Blood tests will show if they have developed antibodies, he added.
This comes after several videos went viral showing people allegedly receiving empty shots at vaccination centres.
The Covid-19 immunisation task force has also said it took the reports seriously and would investigate.