Dr Noor Hisham Predicts The COVID-19 Curve Can Only Be Flattened By May 2021

"If everyone stays at home and adheres to the guidelines, we can break this chain of COVID-19 infections."

Cover image via Reuters/The Straits Times & Bernama/Malay Mail

The Ministry of Health (MOH) expects that it may take about 12 weeks for Malaysia to flatten the COVID-19 curve, said Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah

On the first day of the reimposed Movement Control Order (MCO), 13 January, the Health director-general said the ministry is hoping that the curb on movement can reduce the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, eventually flattening the curve by May this year.

However, he admitted it may be too early to tell but the MOH will actively keep track of data and progress in these coming two weeks.

A few of deserted roads in Kuala Lumpur on the first day of MCO, 13 January.

Image via Reuters/The Straits Times

He added that the MCO could be extended to four weeks to control the numbers and to stop overwhelming the healthcare system

"In my opinion, we probably won't be able to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases [in these two weeks]. But we will be able to prevent the cases from increasing," Dr Noor Hisham said in the daily COVID-19 press conference yesterday.

"If we implement the MCO for four weeks, we can hopefully reduce the cases to below 1,000, and then 500. Then the hospitals will have better capacity to treat and isolate patients."

The Health D-G added that it would take the cooperation of the whole country - the ministry, the government, and the people - to get on the right track

"If we implement the MCO, followed by the conditional MCO, then we might be able to successfully flatten the curve by May or June," he said.

"If everyone stays at home and adheres to the guidelines, we can break this chain of COVID-19 infections. If you have to go out, please remember to follow the standard operating procedures (SOP), wear a mask, wash your hands, and practise physical distancing."

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