Covid-19 becoming 'pandemic of the unvaccinated', says Malaysian official

People receive the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine in a vaccination truck in Kuala Lumpur, on July 12, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has urged Malaysians to quickly get vaccinated as the way the Covid-19 pandemic is spreading around the world is changing.

He said people must trust vaccines and the data as well as to get vaccinated and continue adhering to standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the government.

"Trust the vaccine, trust the data, please get vaccinated and continue complying with SOPs.

"We are now seeing worldwide how Covid-19 is swiftly changing course to be the pandemic of the unvaccinated.

"So let us work together to keep everyone everywhere safe," he said tweeted on Saturday (July 17).

He tweeted a picture with a caption saying: "The meaning of 'fully vaccinated' is two weeks after the second or final dose. No one is guaranteed safe until everyone is safe."

Malaysia on Friday reported 12,541 new Covid-19 cases, slightly lower than the previous day's record-high of 13,215.

A total of 17.8 per cent of Malaysia's population have been fully vaccinated as of Friday, and 38.6 per cent have received at least one dose, said coordinating minister for immunisation Khairy Jamaluddin.

Malaysia on Saturday logged 12,528 new cases to raise the cumulative infections to 905,851.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the move to vaccinate senior citizens against Covid-19 appears to be paying off with incidents of severe symptoms among them declining.

This was why Operation Surge Capacity, which aims to administer at least the first dose of the vaccine to all adults in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur was recently launched, he said in a statement quoted by Malaysiakini news site.

"To date, 3.5 million adult population in Selangor and KL have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

"This is the government's immediate action to manage the spike of Covid-19 cases in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.

"Data has shown that serious Covid-19 cases fell drastically with the administration of vaccines," he said in the statement.

KL and Selangor form Malaysia's most populated districts with some 8 million of the country's nearly 33 million population. Selangor holds the highest number of daily Covid-19 infections in recent weeks.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin gave the example of admissions at the Sungai Buloh Hospital, the main hospital treating Covid-19 cases in KL and Selangor.

"Among senior citizens (60 and above), the admission trend of Covid-19 patients at Sungai Buloh Hospital in Category 4 and 5 (most serious cases) has fallen by more than 50 per cent in the last month.

"Senior citizens were in Phase 2 of the Covid-19 vaccination programme and the positive impact is now visible," he said.

He said 88.6 per cent of the above-60 3.025 million citizens, who have registered for vaccinations, have at least received one vaccine dose.

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