KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 27 — Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today it will be about a year or two before a vaccine is available for Covid-19, so for the time being staying at home is the best deterrent against the pandemic.
With the enhanced movement control order (EMCO) set to be released from Simpang Renggam tomorrow, Dr Noor Hisham is advising everyone there to continue to be cautious and practice social distancing and good hygiene.
“We are in this for the long run,” said Dr Noor Hisham during his daily briefing.
“There is no vaccine yet and despite lots of research being done on it, it will still be around one to two years before we see a vaccine arrive.”
The EMCO enforced at Kampung Datuk Ibrahim Majid and Bandar Baharu Datuk Ibrahim Majid in Simpang Renggam began 27 March after 61 positive Covid-19 cases were identified there.
However, with the order set to be lifted tomorrow, he reminded everyone to be on the side of caution.
“We anticipate in terms of infection the Covid-19 will continue so we need to control the spread.
“So we need these MCOs to flatten the curve. Despite the numbers decreasing we urge all to still practise these new norms like good personal hygiene, social distancing and border control and movement control from the authorities,” he added.
Meanwhile, Malaysia is also increasing its testing capacity to 22,000 per day.
Currently, the country is capable of conducting 16,500 tests from 43 labs nationwide, including East Malaysia.
Add to that the capability of the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) which can do 5,000 tests a day while the public health centre can do another 1,000 tests.
“When we started IMR trained the five private labs and so far, today our capacity is 16,635 today. At IMR we installed the automated processing system and we hope can do 5,000 tests there.
“The other is the Public Health Clinic in Kota Kinabalu that will give us about one thousand,” said Dr Noor Hisham
“We will open IMR first by this weekend then Kota Kinabalu by next week. This will increase our capacity to almost 22,000 per day.”
He said compared to China that can manage 30,000 tests per day for a population of 110 million, Malaysia is in a fairly good situation.
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