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Health DG warns of rising Covid-19 infectivity rate even as more Malaysians get vaccinated

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Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya on July 23. – Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 17): Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah today warned Malaysia of another potential surge in Covid-19 infections in the coming weeks as the country sees an uptrend in new cases fuelled by a higher infectivity rate.

The infectivity rate, measured as R0 or Rt, has been rising daily since November 6. Dr Noor Hisham called for caution that the higher Rt has pushed new cases to climb by 11 per cent from the previous week.

“The situation remains a concern as the increase in new cases and Rt (infectivity rate) values from the previous week reflects the potential for Covid-19 transmission into the community, and consequently, a higher risk of exposure to the virus,” he said in a statement.

“The increase in the Rt value is directly proportional to the increase in new Covid-19 cases, especially if proper preventive measures are not taken.”

The country’s infectivity rate is currently 1.05, up from 0.92 on November 6.

The infectivity rate measures how many people an infected person will transmit the virus to on average. A number above 1.0 suggests cases will increase.

“For your information the rise in Rt rate is directly proportional to the rise in new Covid-19 cases especially if prevention measures are not practiced adequately by all parties,” Dr Noor Hisham warned.

“As such society is urged not to be complacent and take active steps to practice preventive measures so that Covid-19 infections in the country can be reduced immediately.”

The warning came even as Malaysia’s daily new Covid-19 infections continued on its downward trend yesterday for the third day in a row with the country recording 5,143 new cases.

There are currently a total of 65,956 active cases, including 526 housed in intensive care units with 250 requiring breathing aids. – Malay Mail