Go for testing if you are symptomatic

Dr Helmy Hazmi

By Nazrinzulaiqa Hasbi & Aisyah Suhiri 

KUCHING: Patients who are symptomatic should get themselves checked no matter how minor the symptoms may appear to be, said Dr Helmy Hazmi.

The Associate Professor attached to the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences in Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) added that symptomatic individuals with underlying comorbidities like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure or other chronic disorders should also seek medical attention.

He was commenting on the four brought-in-dead (BID) cases out of six fatalities recorded in Pusa on Saturday (Sept 19). The town, however, recorded only one new Covid-19 case. 

“Fatalities at home are a red flag for many reasons. Hence, if in doubt, visit any nearby clinic and, at the very least, get a swab test using the Antigen Rapid Test Kit (RTK). Otherwise, if one is confident enough, saliva RTK for early screening can be used. 

“If you have been exposed to a positive patient, please be honest with yourself and have yourself assessed, isolated and monitored for at least two weeks as soon as possible,” he advised.

Helmy further explained that it was easy to be careless with high vaccination rates and with most of the new Covid-19 cases falling into categories 1 and 2 in the state. 

Therefore, he urged everyone to check their health and seek medical treatment if the symptoms did not improve. 

“Considering the deaths recorded in Pusa, there was insufficient information to make any conclusions about mortality as there are many possibilities. 

“It is easy to be alarmed by the high death toll associated with a small town like Pusa so it is important to know Pusa’s average death rate before linking the deaths to Covid-19. 

“Additionally, the report should be read with caution and descriptively only, even though it appears straightforward to relate the death to Covid-19. This is because, to ascertain the cause of death, more information is required,” said Helmy.

According to him, the report hinted that people with underlying comorbidities have higher risk of developing severe disease that may cause fatality. 

“This pattern has been quite similar to reports elsewhere,” he stated.