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Malaysian Journal of Medicine and Health Sciences ; 17:42-50, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1573306


Introduction: This paper focuses on the epidemiological hotspot of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia and the population incidence rates under Movement Control Orders (MCOs). Methods: Dataset from the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) were employed to determine the cumulative incidence rates by using population-based reference data from confirmed infections (cases/10,000 population) and the mapping was done by geographical information systems (GIS) software for three phases of MCOs (17th March - 28th April 2020) in Peninsular Malaysia. Results: The total number of COVID-19 cases reported by MCOs for 42 days was 4,580 and the incidence rate was 17.72 per 100,000 population. The trend of daily new COVID-19 cases reported across the MCOs was 1,949 cases in the first 14 days of the epidemic (MCO1) (the incidence rate of 7.54 per 100,000 population), 1,930 cases during MCO2 (incidence rate of 7.47 per 100,000 population) and 701 cases during the MCO3 (incidence rate of 2.71 per 100,000 population). Conclusion: The MCOs had a significant impact on case reduction. GIS is a useful tool in mapping cases distribution patterns and incidence rates during the MCOs that will assist in the decision making, and more importantly, in social mobilization and community responses. © 2021 UPM Press. All rights reserved.

Aerosol and Air Quality Research ; 21(3):1-12, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1134345


During the COVID-19 pandemic, key policies aimed at reducing exposure to the virus from social distancing, restrictions on travel through to strongly enforced lockdowns. However, COVID-19 restrictions required people to spend more time at home so the exposure to air pollutants shifted to being derived from that of domestic interiors, rather than outdoors or the workplace environment. This study aims to characterise the influence of lockdown intervention on the balance of indoor and outdoor PM2.5 exposure in a Malaysian suburb. We also calculate the potential health risk from exposure to both indoor and outdoor PM2.5 to give context to personal exposure assessment in different microenvironments during the COVID-19 lockdown, known locally as Movement Control Orders (MCO). The implementation of the MCOs slightly reduced daily average of outdoor PM2.5 concentrations (median of 12.63 µg m–3 before and 11.72 µg m–3). In the Malaysian apartment considered here, cooking led to a substantial increase in exposure from increasing concentrations in PM2.5 during a COVID-19 lockdown (maximum average concentration at 52.2 µg m–3). The estimated excess risk to health was about 25% for lung cancer from staying indoor. Thus, there seems a potential for greater exposure to fine particles indoors under lockdown, so it is likely premature to suggest that more lives were saved through a reduction of outdoor pollutants than lost in the pandemic. Unfortunately, little is known about the toxicity of indoor particles and the types of exposures that result where people increase the amount of time they spend working from home or staying indoors, especially during periods of lockdown. © The Author(s).