Experts Advise For Close Contacts Of COVID 19 Cases To Still Quarantine

Quarantine Still Needed For Covid Close Contacts, Experts Advise

Health experts advise those who are classified as close contacts of COVID-19 positive cases to still undergo quarantine, as Putrajaya evaluates a strategy to exclude the public from such regulations.


Quarantine Still Needed For Covid Close Contacts, Experts Advise

Health experts advise those who are classified as close contacts of COVID-19 positive cases to still undergo quarantine, as Putrajaya evaluates a strategy to exclude the public from such regulations.

Former deputy health minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said that it was still too early to propose this as a public health routine since it was dependent on whether the Omicron variant was less severe than predicted.

While Omicron was more infectious, it was thought to be less severe.

Lee predicted that it would be some time before a “clearer image" appeared.

If the rate of serious illness, hospitalisation and mortality from Omicron is small, then it would not be feasible to impose strict preventive measures.

We need to strike a balance between healthcare and the cost of preventive measures,” he told FMT.

He was responding to health minister Khairy Jamaluddin’s comments that the government may enable the law that governs health workers to be applied to the general people.

Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah, the director-general of health, recently issued a circular indicating that asymptomatic healthcare workers who were close contacts of Covid-19 patients no longer required to be isolated. Instead, they would be required to take examinations on certain days.

Source - Malay Mail

Kumitaa Theva Das, a virologist at Universiti Sains Malaysia, believes that implementing the same technique for the general population would be riskier, albeit it could be done with a good risk assessment and monitoring systems.

She told FMT that different SOPs may be employed for the public in various situations. Those who can work from home, for example, might separate themselves.

She speculated that the sort of vaccination they received and whether or not they received a booster injection may potentially have a role.

According to Kumitaa, someone who had Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccinations may be seen as having a lower risk.

We would also need to be honest and accountable about frequent testing and our test results,” she said.

She did, however, welcome Noor Hisham’s remark, stating that with more than 25,000 Covid-19 cases reported daily, it was unavoidable that many would be in close contact on a weekly basis, particularly healthcare workers.

If all asymptomatic healthcare workers who are close contacts self-isolate, this would immensely burden the rest of the healthcare workforce,” she said.

Kumitaa said that since healthcare workers had received booster doses, undergone regular testing, and were most likely wearing complete personal protective equipment, positive cases would be identified early on, reducing the chance of not self-isolating.

Lee agreed with Kumitaa, noting that although there was a chance of spreading the infection to others, the risk was low given the precautions taken by healthcare workers while on duty.

We are running about 20,000 to 30,000 cases per day. It is unavoidable that somehow healthcare workers will become close contacts,” he said.

Source – Free Malaysia Today

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