KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 — Negotiations to obtain a Covid-19 vaccine are still ongoing but even if Malaysia gets one, this won’t mean the end of the battle against Covid-19, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today.
What’s more important, the Health director-general added, is the continuous effort to break the chain of infection by adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and physical-distancing requirements.
When asked today during his bi-weekly Covid-19 briefing if getting a vaccine would end the pandemic, Dr Noor Hisham replied with an emphatic “No”.
“No, even though we have the vaccine, you would still need to practice physical distancing.
“The vaccine means you are fighting the war inside your body, so it creates the antibodies to fight the war.
“Why not take the fight outside your body? Maintain a distance of one metre from others, wear a face mask and practice good hygiene.
“That way we can break the transmission of Covid-19 by 82 per cent,” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham said, in the past, the infection rate of highly contagious diseases like measles, chicken pox and foot and mouth disease (SARS) dropped by 60 per cent when preventative measures were adopted like physical distancing.
He said from this experience, the world should be able to eliminate Covid-19 in a similar fashion.
The Health director-general stressed, however, that this was achieved due to widespread compliance.
“Although we hope for a vaccine, we can still do something in the interim,” Dr Noor Hisham added.
“We need the cooperation of the public and frontliners to comply with the SOPs to break the chain of infection. This is why we are doing so well now — it’s all due to SOP compliance.”
Malaysia confirmed the addition of 82 new cases of Covid-19 today.
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