KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) is still studying incidences of side effects and complications in recovered Covid-19 patients, its director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today.
“MOH is conducting close monitoring on the patients. So we have follow-up treatment to check on the progress of the patients. If there is a patient who has mild symptoms or asymptomatic, maybe the side effects are less.
“However, for patients who have the fourth and fifth infection category, maybe the effects are more. We are looking at a prolonged time period,” he said.
Speaking at his press conference today, Dr Noor Hisham was responding to a question if MOH had conducted any study on previously infected patients, who are now suffering from complications from the virus, and are incapable of leading a normal life.
“We are seeing if in the prolonged time period, whether the infection in the lungs will cause breathing difficulties and others. On this, we will look at it for a prolonged period of time.
“So we are still monitoring, looking at a long and mid-term period, but what is sure, is that they have recovered and we have already discharge them from the ward,” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham said that the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) is currently conducting tests to check on their antibodies of former Covid-19 patients.
“So when we are infected, we would naturally build antibodies against the virus. The question is, how long the antibody will stay in our bodies,” he said.
He added that early reports showed that the antibodies built after one is infected, decreases after eight weeks.
However, Dr Noor Hisham said that there is still more to be learnt and discovered about the Covid-19 virus in learning how to contain it, pointing out that it has only been 10 months since the pandemic broke.
“So every day is a learning experience for us in MOH to identify and know the virus’ character, how to fight the virus according to the traits we identified,” he said.