R-nought down to 0.3, but continued vigilance a must - MOH

Modified 13 May 2020, 10:27 am

CORONAVIRUS | The R0 (R-nought) of the Covid-19 outbreak has been brought down to 0.3, down from a high of 3.5, according to the Health Ministry.

This epidemiological term is used to measure the contagiousness of an infectious disease. The goal is to reach and sustain a number below 1.

An R0 of 4, for instance, would mean that one person infected with Covid-19 would cause four others to be infected.

Health Ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah explained that this trend proves Malaysia has succeeded in reducing the spread of Covid-19.

He attributed this success to the four phases of the movement control order (MCO) and adherence to new rules.

However, Noor Hisham warned that the R0 can increase again if Malaysians ignore preventive measures.

"If everyone, including traders, employers, workers and the public abide by the MCO and SOPs set by the government, then the R0 will continue to go down and the Covid-19 outbreak will end.

"But if society is no longer vigilant and ignores the SOPs, then the R0 will increase again," said Noor Hisham.

Curve has been flattened

Meanwhile, Noor Hisham said Malaysia has succeeded in "flattening the curve" in terms of new Covid-19 infections.

This was the goal of epidemiologists the world over from the onset of the Covid-19 outbreak.

"Although cumulative cases continue to rise, the rate of increase is slowing.

"The number of new cases are going down. This has allowed the number of active cases to decrease.

"This shows that the measures we have taken had resulted in the flattening of the curve," he said.

Keep up with the latest information on the outbreak in the country with Malaysiakini's free Covid-19 tracker.

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