Covid-19 – Citizens are advised to be vigilant against the Omicron XBB wave

by Rosli Mansor

Malaysia is facing a wave of the Covid-19 variant, Omicron XBB.

Therefore, the Ministry of Health (MoH) is warning the public to be vigilant so as to avoid any virus infection.

Health Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar said, the wave is expected to cause the country to record an increase in cases in the coming weeks.

“Whether it becomes a big wave, it depends on the behaviour and actions of the community,” he said during a press conference on the development of Covid-19 cases at the Ministry of Health yesterday.

According to him, daily data showed the number of new cases of Covid-19 increased by 16.5 percent, from 14,525 cases in epidemiological week (ME) 42 to 16,917 cases in ME 43 (October 23 to 29).

“The number of admissions of Covid-19 patients to health facilities per 100,000 population also showed an increase of 14.3 percent in ME 43 compared to ME 42,” he said.

He said the ministry is of the view that the trend is driven by the Omicron XBB variant infection which became a wave in Singapore recently.

“It is based on open borders with Singapore and the movement of people from both countries.

“I think Malaysia and Singapore are the same epidemiological zone,” he said.

Khairy said that genome sequencing carried out by the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) found that there were four cases of Omicron XBB detected in Selangor and Negeri Sembilan.

“All cases involve local people aged from 25 to 51,” he said.

According to Khairy, one of the four Omicron XBB cases is a re-infection.

“All of them have undergone isolation for a week and close contacts have been identified,” he said.

According to him, although there is an Omicron XBB wave, it is under control.

“The seriousness of Omicron XBB’s symptoms does not indicate anything to worry about,” he said.

However, Khairy said, the ministry strongly recommends that people practice wearing face masks in closed and crowded areas, especially high-risk individuals and those with immunisation problems.

“This is what living with Covid-19 means, no more coercion but people are strongly encouraged,” he said.

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