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Experts warn of year-end rise in COVID-19 cases in Malaysia, Thailand

Update: 09-12-2023 | 16:22:51

Malaysian Health Minister Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa on December 8 warned that there is an increase in cases of COVID-19 reported globally, including in Malaysia, in line with the trend that occurs at the end of each year.

However, most of the cases in Malaysia experience mild symptoms and do not require hospital treatment, she said.

The variant which is still contagious in Malaysia is Omicron, with a subvariant which is known to have a high infectivity rate but does not cause severe cases.
The ministry is always ready to face any possibility which may happen, she stressed.

Hence, she advised the public to practice self-care measures, including maintaining a high level of personal hygiene and wearing a face mask for those with symptoms, saying they can also get a primary dose of vaccine at health clinics to reduce the risk of infection.

The public is urged not to spread false news, to avoid confusion or cause public anxiety, she continued.

The ministry reported that 3,626 cases of COVID-19 were reported in the 47th Epidemiological Week, from November 19 to 25, an increase of 57.3% compared with the 2,305 cases recorded in the previous week.

Also in Thailand, Dr Manoon Leechawengwongs, expert in respiratory diseases at Vichaiyut Hospital in Bangkok, said 545 COVID-19 cases were reported in November alone, citing data on respiratory disease cases at the hospital.

The data for November also shows 304 cases of influenza, 33 of human metapneumovirus (hMPV), 17 of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), 46 of dengue fever, four of chikungunya, and 13 of norovirus.

He said that COVID-19 infections are steadily rising and have already outpaced influenza.

Manoon said that he is monitoring the COVID-19 situation in December closely, which will give a clearer picture about whether infections will continue to rise./.

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