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NCDs continue with march in the shadow of COVID-19

Pank Jit Sin
02 Sep 2020
Tan Sri Dato' Seri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, Director-General of Health, MOH. (Photo credit: Corporate Communication Unit, MOH)

Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dato' Seri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said while things look set for recovery (as of 13 July, new COVID-19 infections were in the low double digits), he noted that the pandemic remains a threat until a specific treatment is found and an effective vaccine is produced.

“Currently, there is no clear indication of the timeline for these [to happen]. Until then, many things will never be the same again,” he said. This pandemic has transformed the world—at work or school, the international trips we used to make; the way we interact with strangers, and so on. In the meantime, the MOH continuously advises the public that they must remain cautious. He said: “The public must continue to practice the new norms in everyday life such as avoiding the 3Cs and practicing the 3Ws.”

It was also noted that the risk of serious complications and mortality due to COVID-19 increases in persons with existing health conditions such as NCDs which include type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension and hypercholesterolaemia. It is this reason [of comorbidities causing more severe disease in COVID-19 patients] that the NHMS 2019 findings are alarming as the rise in NCD rate within the country means that more people are at risk of severe disease should they catch the novel coronavirus. [http://www.iku.gov.my/images/IKU/Document/REPORT/NHMS2019/Fact_Sheet_NHMS_2019-English.pdf Accessed on 13 July]

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