PUTRAJAYA, April 16 — The COVID-19 infection rate per 100,000 population in Malaysia is highest among those in the 55-59 and 60-64 age groups, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
He said that initial statistics showed there were two age groups in the community with the highest number of positive cases compared to people of other age groups, namely 20-24 and 56-59.
“But when the COVID-19 statistics are matched to the population of each age group, it is clear to see that the infection rate of COVID-19 per 100,000 Malaysian population was highest among those in the 55-59 and 60-64 age groups,” he said at a daily press conference on COVID-19 here today.
Commenting further, he said senior citizens had the highest risk of complications and deaths from COVID-19 infections due to the age factor and chronic illness, which is a global issue faced by all countries affected by the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said the COVID-19 death statistics recorded so far showed that 62.6 per cent of fatalities involved those aged 60 and above.
Looking at the comorbidity factor, 80.7 per cent of the death cases involved those suffering from chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, kidney problem, heart and other diseases.
He also emphasised the importance for senior citizens to get immediate treatment, even for mild symptoms like fever, cough, flu or sore throat, as the ability to recover and prognosis for COVID-19 recovery was better with early treatment.
It is the responsibility of family members, for example children or guardians staying with the senior citizens, to ensure they received immediate treatment if they were unwell and make sure they had sufficient supply of medication and kept to their appointment dates.
“If they need any advice, senior citizens as well as members of the public can access the Virtual Health Advisory via the Health Ministry’s portal from 8.30 am to 5 pm every day,” he said.
He said that patients were also encouraged to use the Medicine By Mail service during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period for medicine to be sent directly to them.