Social distancing sees drop in other infectious diseases: Health DG

Dr Noor Hisham Filepix

KUCHING, June 5: Social distancing as a preventive measure has shown positive impact not just in breaking the Covid-19 chain of transmission but has also decreased the spread of other infectious and contagious diseases.

“The Health Ministry (MOH) analysis and comparison between week one to week 22 in 2019 and same time frame for 2020 revealed a significant drop in cases. Hand foot mouth (HFMD) disease has dropped in 44.6 percent in cases, measles (58 percent) and chickenpox (44 percent),” Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said at the ministry’s daily live Covid-19 briefing in Putrajaya.

Malaysia has implemented the Movement Control Order (MCO) since March 18 followed by Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) until June 9 in the attempt to break Covid-19.

“For almost three months, the government has been emphasising preventive measures such as social distancing, avoid crowded places and practice high hygiene to break Covid-19 transmission within the community.

“The effectiveness of this method has not only proven to reduce Covid-19 cases, but has also led to a decrease in the spread of other infectious diseases. The decline in these cases is a positive consequence from the implementation of MCO and CMCO,” he said.

However, Dr Noor Hisham said because of Covid-19 outbreak, the ministry also feared that there is a decline in immunisation rate for infants and children.

This he said may be due to worried parents taking their child out of their house to the clinic.

“MOH would like to remind parents of the importance of immunisation to prevent the occurrence of vaccine preventable diseases. Immunisation services for infants and toddlers are still ongoing as usual at all the health clinic nationwide.

“Therefore, we urged parents or guardians to adhere to the immunisation schedule and the appointment date. If you have any questions, please contact the nearest health clinic,” he added.—DayakDaily