Thursday, September 23, 2021

Threshold indicator for new cases in recovery plan may be reviewed, says Zafrul

He says a more appropriate value may be assigned especially once 40% of the adult population have been fully vaccinated.

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The threshold indicator for new Covid-19 cases under the National Recovery Plan (NRP) may be changed to a more appropriate value based on current developments and the situation in the country.

NRP coordinating minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz said a proposal had been raised to the National Security Council (NSC) for the threshold value of new cases to be changed to the severity of cases by category or the rate of death.

“The NRP is dynamic. If cases have decreased and they are only mild symptomatic cases, the number of new cases is no longer an appropriate threshold value. We will look at the case capacity in the ICU and the mortality rate.

“This matter is being discussed with the health ministry to change it to a more appropriate threshold value, especially in the third phase when we have managed to vaccinate 40% of the country’s adult population,” he said on the Agenda Awani programme last night.

Zafrul, who is also finance minister, said the proposed changes were based on experiences in other countries such as the UK which recorded a sharp drop in Covid-19 cases and hospital admissions after more than 40% of the population had been vaccinated.

“Therefore, when 40% of our people are fully vaccinated, we will ask the National Recovery Council (MPN) to consider this matter.

“However, the consideration is subject to the views of the relevant experts,” he added.

Zafrul yesterday said the MPN had agreed to invite members from opposition parties such as Pakatan Harapan, Warisan and Pejuang as well as representatives from the Sabah and Sarawak state governments to join the council.

He said the MPN had also invited experts from various backgrounds including businessman Tony Fernandes, Star Media Group adviser Wong Chun Wai and infectious disease expert Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman.

Zafrul said the participation of members from various backgrounds would help the MPN make the most accurate decisions, and have a positive impact in terms of the discussions and ideas produced.

He said it would also ensure transparency and that checks and balances are maintained at all times.

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