Malaysia’s mortality rate for Covid-19, which stands at 1.58 per cent, is much lower than some countries which have reported rates of 4.6 per cent or 5.6 per cent.
Malaysia still using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients; health ministry monitoring side effects
26 May 2020 10:41PM (Updated: 26 May 2020 10:50PM)
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s health ministry will continue to use hydroxychloroquine in trials to treat COVID-19 patients, said its director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah on Tuesday (May 26), adding that authorities will closely monitor any side effects.
The anti-malaria drug is known to cause several side effects such as irregular heartbeat and blurred vision. The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday that it is suspending testing the drug in COVID-19 patients due to safety concerns.
“As you may know, it has side effects, which vary from person to person, so there needs to be close monitoring by doctors,” Dr Noor Hisham told reporters at a media conference.
“For example, if a patient has rapid heartbeat, then we will immediately stop usage of the drug in order to prevent heart failure and so on.”
Dr Noor Hisham said hydroxychloroquine is being used to prevent the coronavirus infection from becoming worse at an early stage.
He added that healthcare experts are gathering data, to determine if the use of the drug has been effective.
“The experts are still studying how to prevent existing side effects and avoid high dosage. Let us wait for the literature review which will be issued by the World Health Organization in mid-June,” he said.
Antimalarial Drug Helped Stop Covid-19 Patients From Worsening: DG
A whopping 88% of Malaysia’s coronavirus cases are in the first two early stages.
KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 — Antimalarial medicine hydroxychloroquine may have helped prevent early Covid-19 patients from deteriorating into conditions that require intensive care or ventilator support, health authorities said.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the Ministry of Health (MOH) has been using hydroxychloroquine, which has anti-inflammatory properties, since the coronavirus outbreak began in Malaysia.
“We monitor the side effects, but the impact we see is on Categories 1 and 2, when they did not deteriorate into Categories 4 and 5,” Dr Noor HIsham told a press conference.
“So, we feel that the medicine can help in terms of inflammation. So, fewer of our patients now enter ICU (intensive care unit) or need ventilator support. If you look now, only 5 per cent enter ICU, compared to 10 per cent in other countries.”
About 30 per cent of Covid-19 patients under ICU in Malaysia have recovered, he said, while 6.2 per cent of ICU patients succumb to coronavirus.
According to the DG, the first stage of Covid-19 is testing positive without symptoms; the second stage shows mild symptoms; the third stage has pneumonia, but doesn’t need oxygen; the fourth stage has pneumonia and needs oxygen; while the fifth stage needs ventilator support.
A whopping 88 per cent of Malaysia’s coronavirus cases are in the first two early stages, 7 per cent in the third stage, and 5 per cent in the two most severe stages. Malaysia has confirmed nearly 4,000 Covid-19 cases to date, including 63 fatalities.
Malaysia’s Covid-19 mortality rate lower than many countries
PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia’s mortality rate for Covid-19, which stands at 1.58 per cent, is much lower than some countries which have reported rates of 4.6 per cent or 5.6 per cent.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said this lower rate was indicative of the quality of services offered at Malaysia’s wards and intensive care units (ICU).
“Our intensive care specialists are treating patients well. We must also remember that 88 per cent of patients with Covid-19 only have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all,” he said.
For patients who have either mild symptoms or were asymptomatic, they are also isolated for 14 days, treated and subject to repeated testing. Their results have to be consistently negative for a period of over 24 hours before they can be discharged.