Khairy: 28,957 HFMD cases since January

Khairy: We control through announcements, so that we know the hotspots. (Photo by Zahid Izzani Mohd Said/The Edge)

Khairy: We control through announcements, so that we know the hotspots. (Photo by Zahid Izzani Mohd Said/The Edge)

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REMBAU (May 14): There has been a significant increase in hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in the country, with a total of 28,957 cases reported for the period since January until Friday nationwide, compared to only 4,239 cases for the whole of last year, according to Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

However, he said the increase was expected with the reopening of all economic sectors, including the education sector and resumption of face-to-face leaning, as well as kindergartens and childcare centres.

“There is a sharp increase, but it is expected, because last year, with the implementation of the movement control order, we could not go out, [but] now we can go out. As such, HFMD cases will increase, [and now that] we have returned to normal, this will happen.

"It is also a reminder to the public to take care of personal hygiene because for two years, we have never thought of any disease other than Covid-19,”  he told reporters after attending the Aidilfitri open house here on Saturday (May 14).

As such, he advised parents to make use of the MySejahtera application as it contains a feature which provides information on cases of infectious diseases, which can be helpful to avoid being infected by the disease.

“MySejahtera is not to detect, but report cases. Cases confirmed by the district health office will be reported there, so users can check how many cases are there in the community.

“We control through announcements, so that we know the hotspots. On MySejahtera, we can see the hotspots of HFMD cases,” he said.

On Covid-19, Khairy said the number of cases had slightly increased after almost two weeks of Syawal and advised the public to continue wearing a face mask when in crowded places.

“When the place is crowded, even if in an open area, wear a face mask. If we practice this, then I believe we will be able to reduce the infections and the effects after the infection,” he added.

He also advised the public, especially senior citizens aged 60 and above who have chronic diseases, to get another Covid-19 injection after six months of getting the booster dose to increase their immunity.