Health ministry reviewing ‘zone’ classification for Covid-19 cases


PUTRAJAYA: The health ministry is reviewing the classification of Covid-19 cases into green, orange and red zones, based on a two-week snapshot of a district or township.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that previously, the ministry calculated cases in a certain area collectively, whereby an area that had recorded over 40 cases was designated as a red zone.

“(This way) at one point, all areas will become red zones,” he told a press conference, when asked on the relaxation of the movement control order (MCO).

He said the ministry was looking at the data to get a clearer picture and was studying the distribution of green, orange and red zones.

Previously, it was stated that the green zone was without any positive case, whereas the orange zone referred to areas with 21 to 40 positive cases.

Noor Hisham said JP Morgan, the World Health Organisations and the Malaysian Institute for Economic Research had forecast that Malaysia’s Covid-19 cases would peak in the middle of the month.

He said that later today, he would be meeting with experts on the projection of cases within the next two weeks.

Noor Hisham also said he would be meeting Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin tomorrow morning. Asked on the expected outcome of the meeting, he said: “The PM will announce it tomorrow”.

“We will advise the prime minister and the Cabinet on the appropriate measures,” he said, adding that the focus now was to strengthen the capacity and capabilities to treat Covid-19.

Noor Hisham said the ministry was zooming in on “hotspots” by districts, townships and even villages.

“We have done this with the (Menara City One) condominium, Selangor Mansion and Malayan Mansion. So, we zoom into the building rather than the whole area.

“This way, we can focus our limited resources in one area rather than one zone.”

He said the ministry was also working with the authorities to leverage on technology in identifying people like family members and healthcare professionals who had potential to be infected after coming into contact with positive cases.

He reiterated that 80% of the healthcare workers who had been infected with Covid-19 were not infected at healthcare facilities, and no healthcare worker treating Covid-19 patients in the regular ward or intensive care unit (ICU) had been infected.

“Our healthcare workers make sure they put on personal protective equipment (PPE) before they treat patients,” he said.

On a separate matter, Noor Hisham said 4.9% of Covid-19 patients were admitted to the ICU, with 30% requiring respiratory support, and the recovery rate from the ICU was around 40% to 50%.

He said the government was referring some non-Covid-19 patients to private hospitals, including the National Heart Institute.

He said the rates that were charged to the government by the private hospitals were negotiated rates and not the usual rates.

Credit by FMT Reporters

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