Amid pandemic fatigue, Health Ministry calls on all Malaysians to play their role in bringing down COVID-19 spread

PUTRAJAYA, May 3 – The Ministry of Health today urged all Malaysians to unite and take joint responsibility in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 in the country by playing their respective roles and not pointing fingers at any party for the prevailing situation.

Providing a review of the COVID-19 situation in its Facebook today, the Ministry said pandemic fatigue is one of the reasons for the spike in cases worldwide of late.

People have let their guard down and gone easy with the Standard Operating Procedures as soon as vaccination started taking place late 2020, it said.

Expressing concern over the rise in cases, the ministry said positive cases worldwide have gone up to 152 million with deaths exceeding 3.2 million.

According to the Johns Hopkins University, the US reported the highest figures at 32.4 million, followed by India with 19.9 million cases and Brazil with14.8 million cases. Many of the countries reported a sudden spike in the number of cases and deaths despite having started on their vaccination programmes.

Apart from the pandemic fatigue, the loosening up of several restrictions including the reopening of various economic sectors, the opening up of national borders, and public gatherings have caused the spike in COVID-19 cases in many countries.

The situation is now more worrying with the rise of new mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The same situation is being seen in Malaysia since early April this year, it said.

Malaysia recorded a rise of 61,984 new cases and 235 COVID-19 deaths in the past four weeks.

This has in turn put a heavy burden on the country’s health sector. Hospital capacities have been raised and more health personnel have been mobilised to areas with high infection rates to handle the rise in the number of patients.

According to the statistics provided to the National Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC), the rate of critical bed usage by the COVID-19 ICU cases have now exceeded 70 percent in Hospital Sungai Buloh, Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Hospital Ampang, Hospital Serdang, andHospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Klang.

In view of this, the ministry said it has joined forces with several government agencies and private sector to prevent the situation from worsening further.

Among them include carrying out active genomic surveillance by the Institute of Medical Research on more COVID-19 case samples, banning non-citizen travellers from India and increasing the period of quarantine to 14 days for travellers coming from countries reporting spikes in cases.

Other measures include tightening state and district borders through roadblocks nationwide.

The ministry said the capacity of hospitals will be raised while the vaccination programme will be continued.

Enforcement of the SOPs as well as the monitoring of hotspots will be continued with the help of police, immigration, as well as other agencies and local authorities.