During his press conference yesterday (13 May), health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that they can predict if there will be a second wave of infections in the weeks to come based on the compliance rate of the public.
He referred to a mathematical graph of the infection which shows the results of the movement control order (MCO) phase one, two, three and four, and the predicted outcome of the conditional movement control order (CMCO) which we have yet to see.
The graph shows a potential spike in cases in mid-June if the SOP is not followed and will further increase in July.
Important to keep Malaysia’s R0 below 0.3
Dr Noor Hisham said that it is very important that Malaysia’s R0 (pronounced as “R-naught”) is kept below 0.3 as it now stands. If it were to increase to 1.6, it would mean there could be an exponential surge of cases.
R0 is a mathematical term that indicates how contagious an infectious disease is, according to Healthline. For example, an R0 of 3.55 means that one infected person is able to spread the disease to 3.55 people, whereas an R0 of 1 means an infected person is able to spread it to one other person.
With an R0 of 0.3, Malaysia’s infection rate is low and within control and we need to keep it that way if we want to open up more sectors. This is why Dr Noor Hisham stresses the importance of complying with the standard operating procedures (SOP).
“We have not seen the outcome of the CMCO yet. We have seen the outcome of the MCO,” he said.
“We will see the results on 18th May at least, after an incubation period of 14 days.”
“If cases after 18 May are still within our control, it means more sectors can open and we can come up with more SOP. But if cases continue to increase or the R0 continues to increase, then we have to reverse our decision.”
Dr Noor Hisham once again stressed that the choice is up to the public and if the R0 were to decrease, they would even consider opening up the social sector and the education sector.
In the mean time, he mentioned that they are still tightening border control as there have been 360 cases of Malaysians returning back and testing positive.
He said that 88 of them tested negative in the first swab but tested positive in the first swab on the 13th day of quarantine.
“In regards to that, we are very concerned with opening up the border,” he said.
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