View Covid-19 as an endemic disease

Malaysia will start treating Covid-19 as an endemic disease, rather than a pandemic, by the end of October in the direction chosen by some other Southeast Asian countries. Malaysia’s Minister of International Trade and Industry Mohamed Azmin Ali said on September 7 in an interview with CNBC, and emphasized the accessibility and affordable factors of vaccines are: key elements in efforts to ensure a sustainable economic recovery. According to Ali, more than 75% of Malaysia’s adult population is expected to be fully vaccinated by the end of October. Currently, 88% of adults, or about 63% of Malaysia’s population, have been vaccinated at least. at least 1 stitch.

Malaysia’s Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said last week that the country will ease some social distancing measures in the coming weeks to prepare for the period when Covid-19 is endemic to many economic sectors – More social is reopened. However, people still have to keep their distance in crowded places and wear masks to prevent the spread of the virus. Malaysia has reason to be cautious because the country still has a high number of Covid-19 cases with 18,574 cases recorded on September 7. Since the outbreak, the Malaysian government has had to impose many blockades, negatively affecting the country’s economy. Malaysia’s central bank last month lowered its economic growth forecast for 2021 to 3%-4%, from 6%-7.5% previously.

See Covid-19 as an endemic disease - Photo 1.

People in the capital Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia on September 6 Photo: Reuters

Previously, Singapore was one of the first countries to switch to treating Covid-19 as an endemic disease and the world is closely watching its decision to reopen. However, what happened in Singapore highlights many challenges for the “living with Covid-19” model even when it is one of the countries with the highest vaccination rates in the world. Authorities in the Southeast Asian country did not rule out the possibility of re-imposing restrictive measures if the number of infections increased. “We must slow the rate of infection. These are last resort measures. We will do our best to limit their re-application. However, we should not completely rule out this possibility.” – Ministry Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the government’s Covid-19 task force, emphasized at a press conference on September 6.

Amid a sharp increase in the number of Covid-19 cases, Singapore’s Ministry of Health on the same day said it would increase the frequency of mandatory testing in high-risk settings, such as personal care services and gyms. In addition, authorities will expand the mandatory testing requirement to people who have frequent contact with others, such as employees at shopping malls and supermarkets. From September 8, the government will no longer allow mass gatherings at work. In addition, people are advised to limit social gatherings for the next two weeks, according to The Straits Times.

The Singapore government has previously signaled that the country will further relax epidemic prevention measures when 80% of the population is fully vaccinated. According to Singapore’s Ministry of Health, 81% of people in this country have received 2 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine as of September 4.

Mu variant continues to spread

Mu variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has appeared in nearly 50 countries and territories as of September 6, according to the latest data of the GISIAD site. Although the number of infections caused by the Mu variant is currently small, experts are concerned that this new variant is more infectious than the Delta variant and resistant to vaccines. According to Outbreak.info, the Mu variant accounted for 70% of new cases in the past 60 days in Colombia, where the variant was first detected in January 2021. In addition, the Mu variant has been detected in many American and European countries, as well as a few Asian countries.

In the US alone, 49/50 states have recorded cases of Mu variant, of which the most are in the state of California.

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