Community empowerment, social discipline key to living with COVID-19

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PUTRAJAYA, May 2 – Community empowerment and social discipline key to living with COVID-19 virus as it may not go away for the next 1 to 1,5 years and we will have to learn living with the virus just like we did with dengue, says Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The number of new positive COVID-19 cases has returned to three digits at 105, bringing the cumulative figure in the country to 6,176 cases, said the Health DG.

However, another 116 cases have recovered and were discharged today, raising the total number of recoveries to 4,326, he said. He said the number of active COVID-19 cases with infectivity was 1,747.

He said of the 105 new cases reported as of noon today, 11 were imported cases and 94 were from local transmission.

“Sixty cases were detected in localities under the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO),” he told a daily COVID-19 media briefing here today.

He said 31 positive cases were being treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), with 12 of them requiring ventilator support.

MCO has flattened the curve

When asked by press if relaxing the Movement Control Order (MCO) is the right move considering other countries like Hong Kong only did it when cases go down to zero, Dr Noor Hisham said that those countries relaxed their border controls where we have not.

“We are still enforcing tight border controls, we swab everyone that comes back to the country and put them into quarantine.

“Border control will be enhanced, and not be removed.” he said.

Aside from that, he said the MCO has flattened the curve as it was intended for.

“We expected to have exponential surge of cases around April 14, and the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research predicted that we would have 8900 cases by April 28 but obviously we have managed to flatten the curve.

“That was the objective of the MCO.

“MCO is not there to end the transmission of of the virus, that is not the intention at all,” he said.

War against virus moving to the next battlefield

“We are still in an ongoing war with COVID-19, but in a different battlefield.” said Dr Noor Hisham.

“In a different battlefield, we need to have new strategy. We are empowering both sides.

“The government can do our part but there two things that we want the community and individuals to empower themselves.

“That is to look into social discipline and social responsibility.

He stressed that the fight against COVID-19 will be difficult if we don’t have social discipline and social responsibility for the next few weeks.

“We need the public to come together with the Ministry of Health, to make sure that comply with social compliance (discipline).

“Social discipline is very important to make sure that we break the transmission of COVID-19,” he said further.

We live with dengue, we need to learn living with COVID-19

Dr Noor Hisham also made comparison with the dengue virus.

“Likewise with dengue which is part of our community, we learnt to live with dengue. We need to take action from time to time.

“COVID-19 will be part of our community now, in order to protect ourselves we must follow the SOP by the Ministry of Health, and make sure that we comply.” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham also updated that Malaysia is working on vaccine with China but gave indication that we will have to live without vaccine for the next 1 to 1.5 years.