KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia needs to have less than 1,200 cases and fewer than 10 deaths a day for seven consecutive days if it wants to declare that it is in the endemic phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, says Malaysian Deputy Health Minister Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang.
Datuk Aaron said the endemic status also required 30 per cent hospital bed usage rates and less than 10 per cent usage rates in ICUs, besides the cessation of the requirement for low-risk quarantine and treatment centres.
"There are seven indicators, among them was having a positivity rate of less than 5 per cent in Covid-19 screenings.
"Transmission rates involving hospital workers must also be kept at less than 1 per cent," he said during Ministers' Question Time in Parliament on Monday (Nov 1).
The last indicator is achieving an 80 per cent vaccination rate for the entire population.
"So, these are the indicators that could bring us to the endemic phase," said Mr Aaron.
He was responding to MP Datuk Salim Shariff, who asked if the Health Ministry had made preparations for the endemic phase.
Earlier, Mr Aaron said the endemic phase of a country will be determined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and its government based on present Covid-19 figures.
"Although vaccinations have exceeded 70 per cent, the total daily cases are still high.
"However, the amount of cases that require warding in hospitals and deaths due to Covid-19 can be seen reducing."
Daily Covid-19 cases in Malaysia stood at 4,629 as of Nov 1 and deaths stood at 36 as of Oct 31.
As of Monday (Nov 1), a total of 22,361,734 individuals, or 95.5 per cent of the adult population, have been completely vaccinated against Covid-19.