Omicron wave: Khairy Jamaluddin says no lockdown, healthcare system can cope

Increase in cases will not burden health care system

The surge in Covid-19 cases arising from the Omicron wave, while worrying, was expected due to the variant being four times more transmissible than Delta, but the country’s healthcare system can handle the deluge of cases.

There are also no plans for a lockdown

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said although cases had exceeded 10,000 in the past two days, the majority were in Categories 1 and 2, which did not require hospitalisation.

“Our healthcare system will not collapse as our vaccination programme has helped in reducing the symptoms,” said Khairy.

“From Jan 30-Feb 5, there were 43,642 cases, of which, 99.2 per cent were in Categories 1 and 2.

“Total deaths for that week dropped to 68, and there were only 66 patients in intensive care units yesterday.

“We have more than enough beds to take care of the infected.”

He said there were no plans for another Movement Control Order, as the country could not afford another lockdown.

Khairy urged those who have yet to complete their vaccinations or booster shots, to do so immediately.

He also warned those who had received Sinovac vaccines to get their booster shots by Feb 28, or their digital certificates would state “Not Completed”, and turn from yellow to white.

“If that happens, you will not be able to dine in, or enter business premises,” he warned.

“I would also like to urge businesses to be stricter when checking the digital certificates, and to allow only those who have been fully vaccinated into their premises.”

He said Sinovac was not as effective as the other vaccines, and that was why its recipients should get booster shots.

Khairy said although schools comprised 58 per cent of the new clusters, there was no need to close them.

“As 90 per cent of the teachers are vaccinated, and now, children 5 to 11 are getting the vaccine, closing schools will be the last resort.

“We will allow schools to decide on a case-by-case basis. If there is a positive case, they can choose to have online classes for that particular class alone.

“If there is an outbreak, then the school will have to decide if it needs to do online learning temporarily.”

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