SEREMBAN: The National Security Council should review its decision to relax certain conditions such as allowing Ramadan bazaars to open following the recent spike in Covid-19 cases, says Khairy Jamaludin (pic).
The Coordinating Minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme said this was necessary as there was a real possibility of Malaysia being hit by a fourth wave.
As someone responsible for the immunisation programme, I am really concerned about the fourth wave and my greatest worry are the variants of the virus.
On Wednesday (April 14), the Health director-general announced that there are already 17 cases of the South African variant in Malaysia and we know that this particular variant is not only more transmissible but the vaccines are less effective against it, he told reporters after visiting the Seremban City Council Hall Vaccine Dispensing Centre.
Khairy, who is also Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, said the people cannot afford to be lax when following standard operating procedures (SOPs) if they wished to see a decline in the number of cases.
Yesterday, I sent a picture of a Ramadan bazaar in Kuala Lumpur to the Prime Minister and what we saw is a matter of great concern.
So if we are hit again, the rate of transmission will go up and it will certainly be worse than the third wave, he said, adding that the authorities managed to bring down the number of cases last week but these have again spiked.
Khairy said people cannot be faulted if they wished to go to the Ramadan bazaar but it was extremely difficult to adhere to the SOPs such as observing physical distancing.
No matter what type of enforcement you do there, they are bound to get close to one another. So, in this situation, it is either you continue (allow Ramadan bazaars to operate) or you dont, he said.
Health experts have warned that Malaysians must do all they can to prevent another spike of Covid-19 cases as a failure to strictly observe the SOPs can lead to a fourth wave.
They said real-time data and field observations are providing signals of an impending fourth wave with peoples behavior being the major contributing factor to the rising cases.
They said a fourth wave was also possible if interstate travel is allowed.
There are several Covid-19 variants in the country now, including the Nigerian variant (B.1.525), British (B.1.1.7) and South African (B.1.351)
A Covid-19 infectivity rate forecast shared by Health director-general Tan Sri Nr Noor Hisham Abdullah on Twitter showed that this will reduce from an Rt of 1.2 to 0.8 if there was compliance to the SOPs, in which daily figures would fall to below 1,000 cases by end May.
However, the forecast showed if there was non-compliance, the infectivity rate would increase from an Rt of 0.8 to 1.2 and cases would rise to more than 2,000 per-day by mid-May.