We can still change course on Covid measures

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We can still change course on Covid measures, says expert

It is still not too late for the country to change how it manages the Covid-19 pandemic, an infectious disease expert said as Malaysia continues to grapple with a surge in infections.

Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman said that although Malaysia had invested heavily in the national immunisation programme, it was paying a “very heavy price for our chronic underinvestment in public health”, and added: “It is still not too late to change course.”

She said the country could still invest in end-to-end digital solutions and mobilise contact tracers.

It could also roll out a data-driven and targeted policy using the Find, Test and Trace, Isolate, Support and Vaccinate strategy as soon as possible.

“We cannot rely on the scale-up of the vaccine programme alone, impressive as it is,” she said. “We will see thousands more infections and many more deaths if we don’t sort out our test, trace, isolate and support system now,” she said in a tweet.

Adeeba, a member of the World Health Organisation science council, was responding to a news report that the US could not properly contain the pandemic as health departments in the states relied on outdated data systems.

According to US-based media outlet Politico, these departments also struggled to deploy enough people to probe and isolate positive cases.

Adeeba ventured to say Malaysia had not been able to contain the pandemic for the same reason and was paying a heavy price for underinvestment in public health.

The health ministry reported 19,740 Covid-19 cases today, bringing the total number of infections to 1,424,639. FMT

We can still change course on Covid measures

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