Following reports of a new strain of the coronavirus that is more infectious circulating in parts of the UK, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Sunday (20 Dec) said that the government has imposed a strict Christmas lockdown in London and southeast England.
This year, the Mahathir Science Award – the most prestigious science award for tropical sciences was presented to Professor Sir Alimuddin Zumla of University College London, in recognition of his exceptional, globally acknowledged research in infectious diseases which is relevant to the development and enhancement of health policy.
The Academy of Medicine of Malaysia (AMM) urged the government to enforce mandatory quarantine in designated quarantine centres for Sabah returnees. It has been proven in other countries, such as China and Singapore where compliance rates are high, that home quarantines are not as effective in curbing spread.
The latest Sivagangga cluster from Kedah was suspected of being caused by a super spreader strain of the COVID-19 virus that originated from Egypt and Pakistan. Health authorities believed there is a high probability that the cluster is a super spreader because of its higher transmission rate compared to previous COVID-19 clusters. We spoke to Associate Prof. Dr Chan Yoke Fun, Virologist & Senior Lecturer at the Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya to learn more.
These interim trial results show that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care. Solidarity trial investigators will interrupt the trials with immediate effect.
As of 12 May 2020, 4,425,094 people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 with deaths reaching 297,723.Doctors are desperately looking for an effective drug, and there have been a number of candidates on trial; one of them, remdesivir, is probably the most exciting of all. This is the drug developed for the Ebola epidemic in 2015, but it was found to be less effective in clinical trials than in in vitro studies. Is remdesivir the panacea for COVID-19?
A research team at Oxford University has recently found a cheap and widely available drug called dexamethasone that can be used to effectively treat severe forms of COVID-19. The 'breakthrough' drug has shown to significantly reduce the number of deaths among those seriously ill with the coronavirus. We asked experts to comment on the effectiveness of the drug in treating COVID-19.
While bats have been put forward as the original host of SARS-CoV-2 nonetheless, the transmission of the virus from bats to humans requires intermediate hosts as well. Several studies have linked pangolins with SARS-CoV-2 infection where coronaviruses found in pangolin are highly similar to the novel coronavirus, which suggests that the mammal is the most likely intermediate host.
The Malaysian Health Coalition (MHC) understands and supports the government’s decision to transition into the recovery phase of the movement control order (RMCO). The gradual reopening of public life in Malaysia must rely on appropriate guidance from all areas of government and the Ministry of Health. We must remain vigilant until a vaccine for Covid-19 is available.
A group of academics from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya have developed a guideline for Return to Work after the Movement Control Order (MCO) for COVID-19 infection. The guide covers commonly asked questions such as the need to test employees returning to work after the Movement Control Order (MCO) for COVID-19 infection, available testing methods and how to protect employees and avoid a COVID-19 outbreak at the workplace including the use of technology.