Doctors agree Malaysians have to live with ‘endemic’ coronavirus



KUCHING: Three doctors here echoed Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin’s statement that Malaysians would have to learn to live with the Covid-19 virus as it is reduced to endemic status by end of October.

Khairy, in a press conference on Wednesday (Sept 1), also said some states such as Labuan and Sarawak had already entered the endemic phase.

Dr Nur Shahkizza Mohd Jefry

A surgeon with Sarawak Heart Centre, Dr Nur Shahkizza Mohd Jefry, said she seconded the minister’s statement.

“As long as the infection does not cause more casualties or bring harm, we can overcome and live with this virus as an endemic.”

However, she reminded the public to continue adhering to Covid-19 prevention standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“I strongly believe that complying with SOPs is crucial to protect ourselves and others, especially those unvaccinated.

“Everyone must take extra precautions at all times.”

Dr Dyg Erna Zulaikha Awg Hamsin

Meanwhile, lecturer Dr Dyg Erna Zulaikha Awg Hamsin opined that Malaysians would need to face the fact that Covid-19 had long become an endemic in some parts of the country.

“Ever since community transmission had become rampant, it’s clear that we will have to live with the virus.”

Dr Dyg Erna, who is attached to Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, added that Malaysians should be more aware of the safety precautions to avoid more infections.

“Those who have yet to be vaccinated, especially children, must be protected at all costs.”

Dr Zyneelia Husain

A doctor from Sarawak General Hospital, Dr Zyneelia Husain, said the endemic phase meant that everyone needed to accept that the virus would remain in the community.

“To prepare ourselves, we must be equipped with the right knowledge, information, the right mindset and attitude.”

She also emphasised on the importance of adhering to SOPs.

“Strict enforcement must be in place in all workplaces and organisations. The virus has evolved and will continue to evolve, and unless social responsibility is practised, normalcy may be unlikely.”

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