Category: Advisory

This doctor won’t hesitate to vaccinate his 5 year-old. Here’s why.

This doctor won’t hesitate to vaccinate his 5 year-old. Here’s why.

The time has come for primary school children to go back to school, albeit under strict SOPs. However, some parents are concern that these young children are not protected against Covid-19 infection as they are not vaccinated yet. On the other hand, some parents are also concern about the possible side-effects that may come from giving Covid-19 vaccines to such young children.

The dilemma is real, but the fear may be unfounded.

With clearer and more accurate information about the risks of Covid-19 infections in children as well as the benefits and risks of vaccination in them, parents may be more reassured to encourage vaccination in their children.

Here’s a good and rationale opinion piece from a doctor who has a 5 year-old kid of his own.

Click here to read what he wrote.

I have allergy. Can I take the Covid-19 vaccine?

I have allergy. Can I take the Covid-19 vaccine?

This is a well-written and well-researched article by Dr. Amar Singh, and would be of great interest for those who have history of allergy and are considering taking the Covid-19 vaccine.

As we implement the National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, those of us who are healthcare professionals have numerous friends and acquaintances asking us about the safety of the Covid-19 vaccines.

In particular, is the issue of the risk of taking the vaccine if we have a history of allergies. It is recognised that some individuals get a rare, serious side effect, for example, a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis can occur after taking a drug, from a bee sting, eating some food item, etc, and not just vaccines. We often never know who is going to react in this way.

Click here for the complete article.

Latest Guidelines on Management of Close Contact

Latest Guidelines on Management of Close Contact

On 14 January 2021, the Health Ministry released a new guideline on the management of close contact – people who were exposed to patients diagnosed with Covid-19.

A person who is exposed for 15 minutes or more, at a distance of less than 6 feet, to someone diagnosed with Covid-19 infection is generally regarded as a close contact. The risk is increased if one or both were without a face mask during that contact.

All close contact must get their rt-PCR swab done.

A close contact can be asymptomatic or symptomatic.

  1. If a close contact is asymptomatic, and has a negative rt-PCR swab test, and continues to be asymptomatic, self home quarantine ends after 10 days.
  2. If a close contact is asymptomatic, and has a negative rt-PCR swab test, and then becomes symptomatic, this individual needs a second rt-PCR swab test and needs to be quarantined for 10 days, beginning from the first day of symptoms.
  3. If a close contact is symptomatic, and has a negative rt-PCR swab test, and the symptoms cleared, then quarantine ends after day 10.

Home Quarantine Guidelines for Covid-19 Patients with no or mild symptoms

Home Quarantine Guidelines for Covid-19 Patients with no or mild symptoms

As the number of Covid-19 patients increases, our hospitals are quickly running low in beds, tests, personnel and resources. As such, the Health Ministry has issued new guidelines for quarantine.

Those Covid-19 patients with no or mild symptoms are no longer admitted to our hospitals for quarantine. Instead, they are required to do self-quarantine at home.

For those who have tested positive for Covid-19, AND has no or very mild symptoms, here are the guidelines for home quarantine:

Home Quarantine Guidelines
Home Quarantine Guidelines for Patients
Guidelines for Duration of Quarantine

Understanding the Different Types of Covid-19 Vaccines

Understanding the Different Types of Covid-19 Vaccines

Now that many private companies are coming out with different types of Covid-19 vaccines, it may be difficult for lay people to understand what they are, how they are made, what are the pros and cons.

Well, you can now equip yourself with a better understanding of the different types of Covid-19 vaccines that are available by reading up on them from this well written article (click here).

Suspected case of Covid-19

Suspected case of Covid-19

The guideline below is meant for doctors and HCW. Doctors need to have a high index of suspicion and be actively on the look out for possible Covid-19 patients, especially if you are in a red zone.

You should be highly suspicious if your patient meets BOTH the clinical AND epidemiological criteria, AND in the absence of a more likely diagnosis.

The original message that started the panic

The original message that started the panic

The problem with this type of unverified and inaccurate messages is that it unnecessarily adds to the fear already existing and heightened in the community.

The other problem is the repercussion of such a message.

Imagine if another doctor who is facing the same situation sees this, and realises the damage it will do to his clinic. He may end up keeping everything under wrap, and not take the extra precaution that we did, thereby increasing the risk for both staff and patients, and the community as a whole.

We must take it upon ourselves to take responsibility for all our actions. Therefore, we should reflect before we act. This is especially important in our Internet age where news travel almost instantaneously.

However, what is even more damaging is that a hugely important message is loss under all this noise. This virus IS in our community. It is spreading quietly. It is infective even before you are symptomatic, and therefore you may not know that you have it when you spread it to others.

Thus, it falls upon all of us to take this CMCO seriously, and to follow all recommended SOP strictly.

  1. Wear your face mask, and make sure you wear it properly. 3-ply surgical mask and N95 are the best. They are proven and tested. I do not recommend cloth mask. They may look good and feel comfortable but they are not proven to be equal to the surgical masks.
  2. Practice physical distancing. Also, minimise your exposure time with anyone you come into contact with.
  3. Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water, and avoid touching your face with your hands. Be mindful where your hands go to. If they touch your mask, wash them.
  4. Stay home as much as possible. Do not go out unnecessarily.

Truth and the Covid-19 Pandemic

Truth and the Covid-19 Pandemic

Truth and the Covid-19 Pandemic

If there is any blessings arising from this Covid-19 pandemic, it is that it is showing us the importance of truth.This is because we cannot fight this pandemic with denials, lies and distortion of truth. Doing so only makes the situation worse for everyone.

There have been many reports of patients who have history of close contact with known Covid-19 patients denying this very important aspect of their medical history when they go and see their doctors. This resulted in triage error, thus sending them to doctors who are not properly attired and protected. Later, when they are tested positive, they finally admitted but by then it is already too late. Scores of healthcare personnel would have to be quarantined for at least 2 weeks. Sometimes, an entire clinic or department had to be closed down. At a time when we are already short of all kinds of healthcare resources, including skilled personnel, this is nothing short of a disaster.

Another important tool to fight this pandemic is accurate and truthful information. Unfortunately, there have been wide and indiscriminate dissemination of fake news and suspicious information disguised as coming from authentic authorities or experts. This means we will waste valuable time trying to sieve through what can be trusted and what are lies. Accurate information can help us understand the disease better, and make it easier for us to protect ourselves. Fake news are harmful, often giving false sense of security or trigger outright fear or panic.

Lastly, truth is not a privileged but a necessity in healthcare. One may distort reality and still succeed in politics or even business, but it is disastrous and even deathly when applied in healthcare. Little wonder that we now see our politicians, who are used to distorting realities, having a difficult time trying to cope with this pandemic. Their method is useless in this fight.Let the scientists and doctors take the driver’s seat in this fight, and the politicians humbly taking the backseat.

How do I know if I have Covid-19 infection?

How do I know if I have Covid-19 infection?

With the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, it is understandable if you are concern and wonder if you have the infection and not know about it, since some people may be asymptomatic. On the other hand, your healthcare facilities can easily get overwhelmed with unnecessary screening and testings.

So, what should you do if you are not sure whether you may have the Covid-19 infection or not? Well, here is a simple and quick method to assess your risk by yourself. It is not foolproof but it can be used as a first step to assessing your own risk of getting the infection.

Are you at risk of having the Covid-19 infection?

If, after doing the self assessment above, you think you may have the Covid-19 infection, here is what you need to do next.

So, if you suspect that you may have the Covid-19 infection:

  1. Isolate yourself from others
  2. Call the Covid-19 Assessment Centre (CAC) near you. [Here is a list of CAC in Selangor] If they are too busy (due to the surge), or unavailable to you, call your own doctor for advice.
  3. Make arrangement for a rt-PCR test
Covid-19 “Lockdown” in Malaysia

Covid-19 “Lockdown” in Malaysia

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many countries to take drastic actions to slow down its spread. The Malaysian government has announced a Movement Control Order, beginning from 18 March 2020 to 31 March 2020.

Below is a summary of the order:

The main purpose of this order is to restrict human movements and interactions. The rationale is that by reducing human movements and interactions, we can slow down the spread of the Covid-19 viruses. This will buy time for the local healthcare agencies to track down, quarantine and treat those with the viruses. Without this step, our local healthcare workers and resources are just overwhelmed by the rapidly increasing numbers.

This is undeniably a drastic step, and will definitely affect our economy negatively, but it is a necessity to avert an even more serious situation if not done. Therefore, it is in the interest of all Malaysians to come together as one to fight this Covid-19 contagion.

Here are some simple personal protection measures to consider:

  1. Avoid crowd – This is by far the best way to slow down the spread of the virus., thus the rationale for the implementation of the Movement Control Order. So, avoid panic buying. It is in such crowded places that the viruses can easily spread.
  2. Practice Social Distancing. Give a space of at least 1 meter between yourself and another. Actually, the further the better.
  3. Wash your hands frequently. Since the virus is spread through water droplets in the air, it can land on just about any surfaces. Most important to notice are door knobs, table tops, hand shakes, close contact with another. Frequent hand washing will eliminate the virus from your hands.
  4. Avoid touching your mouth, eyes and nose, as these moist areas are most vulnerable to the entry of the virus into the body.
  5. Wear mask appropriately. Surgical masks are made to prevent the wearer from spreading viruses and bacterias to others. So, if you are feeling unwell or if you are afraid that you might be carrying the virus without showing any symptoms, then wear a mask to prevent spreading to others. Also, the type of masks used is important. Only 3-ply surgical masks, N95 and N99 masks are known to be effective in filtering the virus. The rest are questionable. (Click here for a demo on face masks)

Finally, the Covid-19 infection is most serious to the elderly with underlying illnesses. Therefore, be considerate of the elderly at home and elsewhere. Keep them safe.

Movement Control Order 2020 Covid-19

Frequently Asked Questions on Movement Control Order (Malay version)

Frequently Asked Questions on Movement Control Order (English version)