Preparedness essential to bolster efforts in fighting Covid-19

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KUCHING, 29 Dec: The world’s battle against Covid-19, or SARS-CoV-2, saw countries locking down, international borders ceasing and tourism activities restricted, thus impacting the global economy.

As the surge of infections are a concern for most, highly transmissible variants of the virus are circulating further over the years. China recently, saw explosions of Covid cases following Beijing’s decision to lift travel restrictions, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

However, medical officer for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (Bau Division) Dr. Gerald Sim, ensured that efforts are still being made by the public health sector, in an approach gearing towards preparedness.

“Covid cases are rising, and statistics are showing that we are susceptible to the new strain itself. The precautionary steps that the public or the public health sector are taking is not very far apart from what we have been doing before.

“No doubt, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has been taking measures, in line with what we have been facing since 2019,” he said this during an interview with TVS earlier today.

Commenting further, Dr. Gerald also lauded the Find, Test, Trace, Isolate and Support (FTTIS) approach made by the Ministry of Health (MOH) as a basic measure that is necessary for the public.

“Most importantly we have to protect ourselves through FTTIS, which is to test if we have symptoms, to report in the MySejahtera application as well as to inform, to isolate and to seek help if needed in terms of healthcare,” he said.

Meanwhile, he also urged the public to replenish their antibodies through the booster dose uptake, to reduce the severity of infections and the risk of hospitalisations. Although the nation has handled the pandemic well for some time now, through practising coughing etiquette and the wearing of face masks, it is still crucial to boost one’s immunity after a certain period of time.

“Please get your booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to ensure that your body gets another dose of antibody spike.

“Based on studies after a period 3 months or so, your antibody does begin to drop, hence the booster aims to help your body to stimulate,” he explained.

In a statement, earlier on Monday (December 27), the MoH stated it will continue to step up its preparedness to face a possible hike in the number of daily Covid-19 cases and deaths following the surge of infections in China.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said among the measures to be taken was to increase the percentage of booster dose uptake to reduce the severity of infections and the risk of death.

MOH had also introduced the use of the antiviral drug Paxlovid to the Covid-19 Clinical Care Pathway since April 15 to treat patients with mild to moderate symptoms or categories two and three, with priority given to high-risk patients. -TVS

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