PETALING JAYA: It is almost impossible to determine the exact number of active Covid-19 cases at this stage as a large number of people are not reporting infections on the MySejahtera app, said Malaysian Medical Association president Dr Muruga Raj Rajathurai.
He said Covid-19 is as common today as the flu and added that most cases are mild and recovering at home, hence there is no need for emphasis on the number of overall cases.
“Moreover we are not getting the actual number as many cases aren’t being reported using the MySejahtera app. However, the number of severe cases (needing hospitalisation) should continue to be monitored by the Health MInistry.
Muruga Raj was commenting on questions on social media on why the Health Ministry was not issuing daily Covid-19 bulletins.
“Covid-19 is not going away and from time to time, we can expect cases to go up but the people should know what to do to prevent it.
“There has been more than enough awareness on steps to take to prevent Covid-19. The people should know by now after almost four years of the pandemic. .”
Muruga Raj saidWhat is most important is that we ensure those at high risk remain protected. Use of facemasks are advised when in the presence of older persons and those with comorbidities.
As of May 25, the total number of reported Covid-19 cases stood at 19,122, with 18,367 involving home quarantine, 721 requiring hospitalisation and nine that were in the intensive care unit.
Universiti Malaya professor of Epidemiology and Public Health Dr Sanjay Rampal said the weekly reporting of Covid-19 figures is good enough and the estimates are more precise and stable compared with daily reporting.
He said this is part of the long-term strategy to deal with the virus and it is better to have accurate figures, adding that like it or not, the public has to live with Covid-19.
“It is the duty of the Health Ministry, which has a very important role to play in the fight against Covid-19, while hospitals play a critical role in treating Covid-19 patients.
“Hospital staff have a better understanding of how to deal with acute Covid-19 cases. There are also better medicines and vaccines coming for the treatment of Covid-19.”
If a person falls ill, he should check if he has Covid-19 and visit a doctor if his condition gets worse.
“As the majority of people have taken the Covid-19 vaccine, it has become less infectious and those who get it are less likely to spread it.
“The idea of wearing a mask when speaking to someone who has had Covid-19 and has returned to work is not necessary, even the World Health Organisation does not promote the wearing of face masks anymore.
“There is no real need for the public to wear masks as the benefits are hardly there. Community transmission is very low and wearing masks are no longer cost-effective.”
He added that it is important for every individual to assess their health and be cautious if they feel unwell.
Sanjay said older people or those with comorbidities can take additional vaccine doses for enhanced Covid-19 protection, adding that self-determination is the best way to deal with infections at the moment.