With Malaysia experiencing a new wave of Covid-19 cases, the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has advised the public to be wary as the coronavirus can still cause severe symptoms, and even long Covid, in some patients.
Up to 30 per cent of infected individuals suffer from long Covid.
“The public are reminded to be mindful that Covid-19 is still around. The virus has not changed how it spreads, and it can still cause severe symptoms or even long Covid,” said MMA president, Dr Muruga Raj Rajathurai.
Long Covid sufferers endure symptoms such as exhaustion, shortness of breath, pain in the chest, joints, and muscles, and depression or anxiety, for several weeks or months.
Those who have tested positive for Covid-19 should go for a full check-up six months after they recover.
Long Covid hits hard, especially on unvaccinated children.
After a slowdown in new cases, there were 5,173 new infections in the first eight days of April. The total number of cases since the coronavirus was first detected in the country is 5,056,911.
For the record, the Health Ministry now releases Covid-19 figures weekly, instead of daily.
Dr Muruga Raj said the rise in cases was due to several contributing factors.
“We are in the post-pandemic stage where there are no restrictions on movement. As such, some individuals tend to skip self-testing or reporting on the MySejahtera mobile application. That also means that some do not follow the proper isolation period,” he said.
“Many also do not use facemasks except at healthcare facilities and nursing homes.”
He added that as Hari Raya is around the corner, those returning home for the holidays should take the self-test and isolate themselves for five to seven days if they test positive.
He advised everyone to wear facemasks when around elderly loved ones, those with comorbidities, and when in crowded spaces with poor ventilation.
“Individuals should also work on strengthening the immune system by observing a healthy diet, getting sufficient rest daily, and exercising.
“These will help boost the immune system – the body’s natural defence against infections.”