KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 21 — Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has reminded all those who have completed two doses of their vaccine, not to misuse the special privileges or relaxed restrictions granted by the government.
Dr Noor HIsham in a post on his Facebook page said, if the people let their guard down, all the hard work and achievements so far would be useless and would likely cause the country to face another ‘battle’ against COVID-19.
“We must remember that a portion of the country’s population is not vaccinated yet and they are at risk of COVID-19 infection.
“We need to ensure that the transmission rate is as low as possible to prevent its spread or the emergence of new variants,” he said.
In addition, he reminded individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 or are in close contact with positive cases, to immediately undergo isolation or quarantine so as not to expose others to the risk of infection.
Meanwhile, in another Facebook post he said, a preliminary study has shown that in the case of a breakthrough infection, the Delta variant is able to grow in the noses of vaccinated people to the same degree as in unvaccinated people.
Dr Noor Hisham said previous studies in hospitals in India; Provincetown, Massachusetts, United States of America and Finland have shown that after vaccine breakthrough infections with Delta, there could be high levels of virus in people’s noses whether they were vaccinated or not.
“The virus that grows is just as infectious as that in unvaccinated people, meaning that vaccinated people could transmit the virus and infect others,” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham said despite the possibility of breakthrough infection that is able to infect others, inevitably, vaccinated individuals are still protected against severe infection and fatality, adding that this means reduced hospital admission and utilization of intensive care unit (ICU) beds.
“As such, please get vaccinated,” he added.