Covid-19: MOH working to ensure RT doesn’t reach 2.2 – Health DG

Covid-19: MOH working to ensure RT doesn’t reach 2.2 – Health DG

KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Health (MOH) is working to ensure that the Covid-19 Rt or R-naught (R0) infectivity rate does not reach 2.2, as health facilities may not be able to accommodate the number of patients if it reaches that level, says Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

Dr Noor Hisham said the Rt was currently at 1.3, significantly reduced from the 2.3 when the third wave first hit the country.

“So with all the public health control measures in the field, we hope we can reduce the Rt to 0.3 by Oct 31, and successfully flatten the curve.

“But if the Rt remains at 1.3 as it is now, we will see a slow increase in the number of cases until Oct 31. What we are trying to avoid is for the R-naught to increase to 2.2, where we will see a sharp increase in the number of cases, and MOH facilities, hospitals and also quarantine centres may not be able to accommodate more patients,“ he said during his virtual press conference broadcast on MOH’s Facebook yesterday.

He said the ministry would therefore continue to intensify public health activities including surveillance, contact detection, testing using antigen Rapid Test Kits (RTK) and real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), case isolation and treatment at quarantine centres, besides treatment of low-risk and hospital cases.

Apart from that, he said the government’s efforts to intensify border control, cross-district control as well as close contact tracing and detection of positive cases could also keep the Rt in check.

Earlier, Dr Noor Hisham announced there were 561 new cases recorded today, up from yesterday’s 374, with two more casualties.

Apart from that, five new clusters were identified, namely three in Sabah, and one each in the Federal Territory of Labuan and Selangor.-Bernama