Covid-19: Malaysia hit by Omicron wave, new cases daily will reach 15,000, says KJ

(The Star) – Malaysia is in the midst of a wave of Covid-19 Omicron variant infections and daily cases will reach 15,000 soon, says Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

“Fully into the Omicron wave. The (daily) cases will hit 15,000 soon.

“There are still one million senior citizens who do not have a booster dose.

“Please inform your loved ones to get a booster dose immediately,” he said in a tweet on Sunday (Feb 6).

In a tweet on Sunday (Feb 6), Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said 10,089 cases were recorded, taking the cumulative total to 2,914,220.

In another tweet, Dr Noor Hisham gave a more alarming number, saying daily Covid-19 cases could reach 22,000 a day by the end of March if the infectivity level (R0) remains at 1.2.

However, he said that Malaysia’s good vaccination coverage would ensure the severity of Covid-19 infections remained low.

“At present, if the Rt level is at 1.2. we expect to reach 22,000 cases by the end of March 2022.

“However, with wide vaccine coverage and booster doses, we can reduce the severity of Covid-19 cases,” said Dr Noor Hisham in a tweet, which was accompanied by a graphic showing the forecasted Covid-19 cases.

Dr Noor Hisham said the Malaysian public could play their part in lowering the infectivity rate by getting their booster shots as well as adhering to Covid-19 standard operating procedures.

“Hence the onus is on us to comply with all the public health and social measures plus increasing the vaccination and booster shot coverage to reduce the transmission and lower the Rt to less than 1,” he tweeted.

In response to a Twitter user, Dr Noor Hisham said Malaysia was “not out of the woods yet”, but added that a surge in cases would likely be coupled with fewer hospital admissions and deaths.

“We are not out of the woods yet. It is on us to come together and brace for the surge of cases, however more importantly we have to anticipate the high number of cases with less severity, less hospitalisation and less fatality,” he said.