Medical group urges symptomatic to test for Covid

Ravin Palanisamy

MMA president Dr Azizan Abdul Aziz says those who experience flu-like symptoms must test themselves for Covid-19 immediately. – Malaysian Medical Association pic, December 25, 2023.

THE Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has called on Malaysians to practise safety measures and be more vigilant amid rising Covid-19 cases in the country.

MMA president Dr Azizan Abdul Aziz said the public must monitor their health and self-test if symptomatic.

“One very important step is self-testing when experiencing flu-like symptoms.

“Most current Covid-19 cases are mild, and there is a high likelihood many are not self-testing when experiencing flu-like symptoms.

“This is a concern as without self-testing, the necessary quarantine period is likely being skipped,” she told The Malaysian Insight.

Malaysia is experiencing a surge in Covid-19 cases, which the Health Ministry (MOH) expects to continue over Christmas and New Year.

Data on MOH’s KKMNow portal showed 28,375 active Covid-19 cases, with 97.6% of them under home quarantine.

Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad last week said the ministry had a five-point strategy to tackle the spike.

The five points were – early detection via the heightened alert system, community tracing via TRIIS (test, report, isolate, inform and seek), health facility monitoring and control of Covid-19 cases especially among high-risk groups, community empowerment through effective risk communication, and digitisation of the health system via MySejahtera.

The public must play their part for the strategy to be effective, Azizan said.

“Going forward, we also urge the MOH to communicate its strategies over multiple platforms to ensure the public are well informed,” she said.

Lack of self-test kits

A recent check by The Malaysian Insight found most community pharmacies in the Klang Valley and Negri Sembilan have run out of Covid-19 self-test kits.

Malaysian Pharmacists Society president Amrahi Buang admitted to running low on self-test kits but said the situation was under control.

He said pharmacies and suppliers were aware of the situation, and that restocks would come within days.

“(Stocks of self-test kits) are replenished fast; the very next day, even.

“We are seeing a rise in Covid-19 cases but we cannot have an oversupply of self-test kits … We have to tread carefully,” Amrahi said.

But Amrahi urged the public not to panic, saying the situation was not critical.

He said he would continue monitoring the situation, especially with Chinese New Year and Hari Raya fast approaching. – December 25, 2023.

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