KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia hopes to reduce drastically the rate of Covid-19 cases after 40% of the population have been vaccinated and are immunised.
Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah told the media today that the reduction is expected in the next few months.
The need for Covid-19 treatment will also decrease in the next one or two months if the current rate of 450,000 vaccinations is maintained, Dr Noor Hisham said.
He added that the United Kingdom had seen improvements in the span of three months after it began vaccinating its population in December, while others started in January.
“We started ours in March although the campaign was launched on Feb 24, and have also seen that in the three months of developments in developed countries, we have seen that after vaccinations reached 40% (of the population), the cases will reduce.
“We are confident that we can implement this with the condition that we raise our vaccination (rate).”
At present, at least 15.2% of the Klang Valley population has been vaccinated.
The special press conference was organised following the country’s record-high of more than 11,000 new Covid-19 cases today.
According to Dr Noor Hisham, the rise in cases was due to the Delta variant of Covid-19, as well as the increase in targeted screenings in the Klang Valley.
“The vaccination now is to decrease the admissions to hospitals and to ICU wards. This is very important so that we can live side-by-side with the virus.
“If we can maintain or raise the vaccination rate in a short period, we can reach 40% of the population and even if it is halfway to 80% (herd immunity), we will see the impact.”
Bernama reported that the country reached a record high of 421,429 vaccinations yesterday, of which 264,034 were the first dose, and 157,445 others the second dose.
He said after Phase Two of the country’s vaccination programme began, the number of elderly patients aged between 60 and 70 who were admitted to hospitals has decreased, while those in unvaccinated red zones showed higher admissions.
“What we need to do now is increase the number of vaccinations, especially in the Klang Valley.
“If the population can be vaccinated (fast enough), even though they are infected, they will not need to be admitted to a hospital or ICU, so that is our strategy.”
Dr Noor Hisham said the UK reported one death out of every 50 people infected, but that was reduced to one death per 1,000 infections several months after they began vaccinating the public.