No need to worry, says minister

Izah Azahari

The contact tracing team is ensuring that close contacts of COVID-19 positive cases undergo PCR tests, said Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar during yesterday’s press conference.

He added that if there are new cases, the contact tracing team will track down close contacts which will most likely be family members as most recent cases have been from residences.

The minister said the focus should be on the number of hospital admissions.

Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham earlier said recent new cases averages 40 a day and they are mostly from residences, a few from the workplace and none from dormitories.

Of the 247 cases in the past week, 81 were imported. All local cases have been fully vaccinated with a few administered third shots, hence showing mild symptoms, he said.

The minister said before the pandemic, hundreds of people got the flu daily without concerns raised despite there being deaths from the disease annually.

Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham reiterated the importance of following standard operating procedures (SOPs) such as wearing face masks.

The public should avoid going out if experiencing fever or not feeling well and take the antigen rapid test (ART). If tested negative, they should still stay home as they may have the flu.

On the possibility of locally transmitted Omicron cases, the minister said all cases so far are imported and local samples are still being tested and may take some time.

Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham reminded the public that if there are local Omicron transmissions, it may spread easily but the symptoms are known to be mild.

“With our vaccination rate of over 90 per cent, Insya Allah, the cases will only be in Categories 1 and 2.

“There is no need to worry and as I said earlier, follow the SOPs,” said the minister, adding that with increased immunity offered by booster shots, the public should take the third shot after three months from their second dose.

Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said, “From overseas studies, two doses of the vaccine can reduce symptoms but taking a booster shot offers 90 per cent more protection.”

The minister added that many countries are considering three doses as the completed vaccination schedule.

He also expressed hope that the public will take up the booster shots based on this information.