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Omicron BA.5 wave in Malaysia under control, says Khairy

The health minister says Malaysia is facing 'a small but prolonged wave' this time around.

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Commuters fill the KLCC LRT station in Kuala Lumpur after a day of work in the capital city.
Commuters fill the KLCC LRT station in Kuala Lumpur after a day of work in the capital city.

The Covid-19 wave in Malaysia due to the transmission of the Omicron BA.5 subvariant is small and under control, say Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

He said while certain countries had reported a large Omicron BA.5 wave, Malaysia was facing a small but prolonged wave.

"As I said before, (the movement from) 2,000 to 5,000 cases took quite some time. There was no sudden increase… it rose slowly and maintained at a new level. So this is a new, long wave," he told reporters after the launch of the National Institute of Health (NIH) Complex in Shah Alam today.

Commenting on the under-reporting of cases on the MySejahtera application, Khairy said this was common in any country.

"The number of reported cases is less than the actual number of infections because the testing protocols have been relaxed. Before this, everyone did the RT-PCR test. Now, most of the tests reported are RTK-Antigen tests," he said.

Khairy said some people also self-test for Covid-19 but do not report the results on MySejahtera.

"In this case, we look at proxy indicators. We don’t look so much at the number of cases but their severity, the number of deaths and hospital admissions.

"As long as the rates are under control, we can manage this problem well because if we look at the number of cases, it will fluctuate, and there will be waves from time to time," he said.

He also advised the public to report Covid-19 infections on MySejahtera to help the health ministry monitor the situation and the number of cases in the community.