Thursday 20 Jun 2024
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PUTRAJAYA (Feb 7): The Ministry of Health said its current mathematical models indicate that the Omicron wave is expected to peak in the second half of March.

“At the moment, [it looks like] we will peak sometime towards the end of March, and that tracks with other countries where it takes about two months for it to peak,” Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said at a press conference.

Malaysia, which is undergoing the fourth wave of Covid-19 infections, on Sunday (Feb 6) reported more than 10,000 daily cases for the first time since Oct 2, 2021. The daily numbers breached the 11,000 mark on Monday, with further rises expected in the coming weeks.

Khairy said there is no denying that increased mobility has contributed towards the Omicron wave. 

“If it was just Omicron, then you will see an increase but you will not see the exponential increase that we are seeing now,” he said.

“Even in Hong Kong which practices a zero Covid policy, the [number of cases] are in the hundreds already and that must be attributed towards Omicron because their social behaviours have not changed.

“So, it is principally because it is a high transmissible variant but of course the exponential rise that you saw in the last two weeks is due to social mobility and the fact that we could not slow it down anymore,” he added.

The minister said he does not think Malaysia “can afford to curb mobility anymore, let alone having anything close to or approximating a lockdown”.  

“What we have to try to do now is to balance the public health priorities together with economic recovery and also peoples’ livelihoods, as well as mental wellbeing,” he said. 

Khairy expressed hope that everyone in the country do their part to stablise the pandemic within one or two months.  

“If each of us play our role and get our booster dose, and with children getting vaccinated, God willing, in a month or two, Omicron will decline," he said. 

Edited ByS Kanagaraju
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