Health D-G moots double face masks or face shields at hospitals, high risk areas

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File photo of Dr Noor Hisham.  — Picture by Choo Choy May
File photo of Dr Noor Hisham. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 — With new and more aggressive variants of the Covid-19 virus in the country, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah today advised Malaysians to take additional safety measures when out in high risk public areas like a hospital.

“It is recommended to wear a double face mask and face shield in high risk places such as hospitals.

“In public places, there is no need for a double face mask, but it is mandatory to wear a face mask,” he said in a joint news conference with Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob this evening.

Dr Noor Hisham justified donning face shields in high-risk areas based on recent findings that the virus can also spread through the air and not just through droplets as previously reported.

Four days ago, he spoke about the emergence of new Variants of Concern (VOC), pointing out that many Covid-19 patients did not show any symptom of the disease and some who underwent screening had negative results too.

He said by the time these VOC patients received treatment, their condition had become critical, which was why the fatality rate is climbing.

In a statement after today’s news conference, Dr Noor Hisham said seven more VOC cases had been detected from 10 samples collected by the Institute Medical Research (IMR) between May 10 and 14.

Last week, the Health Ministry discovered seven Covid-19 infections believed to have originated from the South African and Indian strains of the virus.

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