The temporary suspension of travel authorisation for umrah is targeted to stop the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, since statistics gathered suggest that over 78 percent of ‘presumptive’ new Omicron cases originate from Umrah pilgrims, according to Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
The Umrah Travel Suspension Is Made To Slow Down The Omicron Variant Spread Says Khairy
The temporary suspension of travel authorisation for umrah is targeted to stop the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant since statistics gathered suggest that over 78 percent of ‘presumptive’ new Omicron cases originate from Umrah pilgrims, according to Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
In a tweet today, he said that the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) has validated that the ‘presumptive’ Omicron is a 100 percent confirmed Omicron via the full genome sequence.
“Risk assessment will continue to be carried out. For now, we (Health Ministry) know a dose of the booster shot is needed.. Most important is our response based on the new data. This is what is meant by an evidence-based response," he said.
Source - FMT
He also said that the Omicron variant was more transmissible than the Delta variant and that increasing the case denominator would result in more hospitalisations and intensive care unit admissions (ICUs).
He noted that the Health Ministry wants to prevent overwhelming the health system by slowing the Omicron variant.
Khairy would not rule out the possibility that Malaysia, like other countries, will see a large wave of Omicron.
As a result, he continued, extensive booster dose coverage; the use of a face mask; adequate ventilation; the practice of TRIIS, or Test, Report, Isolate, Inform, Seek; the use of MySJ Trace; and international gateway control are all strategies to help prevent the spread of Omicron.
Meanwhile, Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said on his Twitter account that the COVID-19 infection rate for the whole country was 0.99 based on daily cases on January 1.
Khairy said yesterday that the government has decided to temporarily limit travel authorisation for umrah beginning January 8 in order to contain the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
The delay was made due to fears about the variant spreading due to umrah pilgrims’ non-compliance with the home-quarantine procedure, which resulted in infection among family members.
Source – Bernama