Covid-19: No exponential spike yet, but MOH says prepared for the worst

Ben Tan

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya March 30, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) said today that Covid-19 cases in the country is currently stable, but the government is well prepared if there is an exponential spike — which can only be identified by the first week of April.

Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the ministry has been practicing active case detection by continuing to test the high-risk groups where the positive detection has been at 8 per cent.

“This is why we are doing the active case detection. We detect them, we find them, we test them, and we isolate and treat them,” said Dr Noor Hisham at a press conference in Putrajaya today.

“So as long as we are within the range of 150 to 200 cases [per day], we have not seen the spike in exponential cases unlike other countries.

“Nonetheless, we are prepared for the worst, but hope for the best,” he added.

Dr Noor Hisham said ministry staff are also following up on those placed under home surveillance to ensure that the spread of the virus is curbed, apart from active tracing of close contacts among patients.

He said the ministry is observing all the Covid-19 cases very closely and the figures are stable at the moment.

“While there has been no exponential spike in cases, the ministry will continue to observe the trend in the next two weeks before the movement control order (MCO) ends on April 14.

“We fear exponential spike of 900 or 1,000 cases. But we are prepared and have 19,200 additional beds for patients nationwide in all of the ministry’s training centres, in addition to the currently available 3,400,” said Dr Noor Hisham.

On completing the two weeks of the MCO, Dr Noor Hisham said it is too early to say whether or not the order should be extended.

“It is now up to us, in the next two weeks, to flatten the curve and prevent any exponential spike, thus breaking the chain of infections.

“What is more important now is to practise social distancing and avoid crowded places, as well as practicing good personal hygiene by frequently washing hands with soap,” he said.

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