Children form a small proportion of those who have tested positive in this COVID-19 pandemic. In Malaysia, children aged 0-12 years comprised of 317 out of 6,872 cases identified (4.6%). Although children get infected with COVID-19 and transmit the disease, the vast majority generally do very well or remain asymptomatic; severe illness and death are rare. Recently however there has been concern, as young children infected with COVID-19 have presented with a severe Kawasaki-like disease with some fatality.
Like COVID-19, around 75% of new infectious diseases are zoonotic. Some experts believe climate change may be putting humans in closer contact with animals. While COVID-19 and climate change are real but different health emergencies, both are of environmental origin and they point to a common denominator - destructive environmental practices ultimately affect our health.
While scientists race to find a vaccine for the coronavirus, countries including Malaysia are resorting to convalescent blood plasma transfusion to treat patients severely ill with COVID-19. The treatment includes administering blood plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 to patients critically ill with the novel respiratory illness. We asked experts to comment on the effectiveness of this method to treat newly-infected patients.
Each day, we are bombarded by misinformation on COVID-19, especially on social media. This situation makes it difficult for users to distinguish between fact and fake news. The World Health Organization (WHO) has called this an "infodemic" describing it as more dangerous than coronavirus pandemic. To address these issues, the Science Media Centre (SMC) Malaysia in collaboration with the Medical Mythbusters Malaysia hosted a webinar recently to discuss the impact of the fake news on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Various responses have been launched by different countries since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in their bid to minimize its toll within the shortest time possible. The enemy is unseen and its true nature unknown leaving governments either throwing all resources possible albeit the kitchen sink towards this affect. Conversely are those who opt for a liberal approach minimally restraining and relying upon good public literacy and trusting self-regulatory social measures.
General Practitioners (GP) in the private sector plays an important role in the delivery of healthcare for the public. It supplements the primary healthcare services offered in the public sector. Most of the GP practices in Malaysia, either group or individual are located in shop lots. The usual practice in these clinics is to use split airconditioning units for climate control. Here are some simple measures that the GP can take to reduce the risk of transmission.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced the conditional movement control order (MCO) will be extended for another four weeks until June 9. While several festivities such as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the Kaamatan Feast and Hari Gawai will fall during this period, mass movements across state borders or 'balik kampung' would not be allowed. We asked experts to comment on the fifth extension of the MCO.
There are research suggesting male are more susceptible than females to contract COVID-19. The coronavirus mortality rate also recorded a higher toll on male. In China, the death rate for men was 2.8 percent, compared to 1.7 percent for women, according to the largest analysis of cases by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. We asked experts to comment on the risks of COVID-19 infection and mortality rate based on sex.
As the world grapples with the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic whilst it crushes socio-economic foundations and brings world-leaders to their knees, the question at the back of our minds is how will the story-line end? Dr Dhesi BR opines pragmatic options on flattening the curve should be placed on the table for critical evaluation in finding that postscript for the final chapter in the COVID-19 saga. If possible to flatten and shrink it, ‘squishing the curve’.
A substantial proportion of the Malaysian population is dependent on public transportation to go about with their daily lives. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, a group of academics from the University of Malaya has developed a Standard Operating Procedure for Public Transportation designed to minimise the risk of spread of SARS-CoV2, thus avoiding any COVID-19 outbreak potentially arising from the use of public transportation.