PUTRAJAYA SEPT.1 : When 80 per cent of the country’s population has been vaccinated by end of October 2021 the government is able to shift the COVID-19 pandemic to the endemic phase.
Health Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin said, when the country is in endemic phase, more economic activities and social sectors will be reopened with the new COVID-19 norms being practiced by the people.
“The government will come out with a more simple, not difficult and complicated standard operating procedure (SOP) but wearing the face mask is still a mandatory for foreseeable future.
“Some countries had to make mask wearing compulsory again following the emergence of more dangerous and contagious variants,” Khairy said in a virtual press conference here today.
Khairy also mentioned about the success of high vaccination rate that has resulted to a lower hospital admission following the Surge Capacity Operation in the Klang Valley and in states such as Negeri Sembilan, Labuan and Sarawak where 50 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated.
He pointed out that the Sungai Buloh Hospital had reduced its hospital admission to 53 per cent from early August while the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital, Klang had 43 per cent reduction of patients from early August.
Regarding the effectiveness of all the vaccines used in the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP) specifically in reducing the risk of complications in the illnesses of patients, Khairy said, from July 16 till Aug.31 a total of 865,472 COVID-19 cases had been reported with only 2.1 per cent in category 3-5.
“From the number of cases, 10.4 per cent had been fully vaccinated. With that we can see that the vaccines work even with the presence of Delta variant. Even in Sarawak the cases had been on the increase even though the vaccination rate is high but 99 per cent of the infections are in Category 1 and 2,” Khairy added.
Khairy also cited the situation in other developed countries where vaccination and infection rates are high but the ICU admission and numbers of deaths are low.
According to Khairy in the endemic phase what is important is the number of admission of COVID-19 cases in the hospital and ICU is low and the public healthcare system is not a burden.
On another development, Khairy said, 412,000 teachers nationwide with 96.5 per cent had at least received their first dose while 83.5 per cent have completed both doses.
Meanwhile, 84.8 percent of the school support staff including clerks, food caterers and security guards has received at least their first dose while 68.8 per cent have completed two doses.
“The government is trying to make schools as safe as possible by vaccinating 100 per cent teachers in the country,” he said.-Malaysia World News