KUALA LUMPUR – The deadline extension until 31 March for the public to get their Covid-19 booster dose has nothing to do with the Johor state election.
Minister of Health, Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar said that the original deadline of 28 February for the booster dose has been extended to provide opportunity to those who have not received their shots.
“The extension has nothing to do with the Johor election, but we want to give more time for them to complete their booster shot as there are request for the extension.
“So, this is the final extension and by the end of this month, those who have not received their booster dose, their vaccination status will turn incomplete,” he said at the Parliament, answering the additional question of Datuk Seri Dr. Dzulkefley Ahmad (PKR-Kuala Selangor) today.
According to him, to ensure that everyone above the age of 50 can get their booster dose, the MOH has extended the walk-in vaccination programme at the vaccination centres (PPV).
“At several PPVs, we provide the option of Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sinovac and such. It will help to increase the vaccination coverage among those who refused to take booster earlier,” he said.
Answering the original question, Khairy said, the first Omicron variant was reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by South Africa on 24 November 2021.
The variant, according to him, has 32 mutations and an infection rate of 2.7 until 3.7 times more than the Delta variant.
The first case in Malaysia was reported on 3 December involving a student from South Africa.
“Since then, the Omicron variant has spread in the community compared to the Delta variant.
“Meanwhile, the Omicron variant cases in December were only from the international entry points. However, the situation changed in last January when the local infection of the variant has been reported nationwide,” he said.
According to him, the increment of new Covid-19 vases exceeding 10,000 daily cases are caused by the Omicron variant that was recorded on 6 February, it was followed by 32,070 positive cases on 24 February, the highest daily cases since the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Although there is a sudden surge of cases, more than 99 percent of the daily cases were in category 1 and 2.
“Despite there is an increasing trend in the hospital admission during the Omicron wave, the discharge rate also increased due to the high recovery rate and shortened treatment period in the hospitals.
“Compared to Delta, the Omicron prefers to infect and breed at the upper respiratory tract and this gives it the ability to infect others easily and quickly,” he said. -MalaysiaGazette