LOOKING BACK AT A YEAR OF COVID-19 INFECTION IN KINTA DISTRICT, MALAYSIA: THE PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERIENCE TO SUPPRESS THE PANDEMIC
COVID-19 has overwhelmed the healthcare system and crippled the economic and social activities globally. This study aims to analyse the epidemiological and presenting symptoms of COVID-19 and understand the public health intervention. A retrospective review of COVID-19 confirmed cases registered in Kinta District, Malaysia between 14th March 2020 to 28th March 2021. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the cases, and the association between the 2nd and 3rd waves of infection was determined using Pearson's chi-squared tests or student t-tests. 3051 COVID- 19 confirmed cases were reported during the 2nd wave and 3rd wave. The characteristics associated with the 2nd and 3rd waves were age, ethnicity, nationality, and transmission location. Asymptomatic cases account for 67.3% and 66.0% during the 2nd and 3rd waves, respectively. Presenting symptoms such as fever with respiratory symptoms, respiratory symptoms only, ageusia or anosmia were associated with the transmissions. Diabetes mellitus, hypertension, chronic kidney disease and multimorbidity were significantly associated with the 2nd and 3rd waves. As most confirmed cases were asymptomatic, a coordinated and systematic approach to tracing, testing, and isolating close contacts is critical to managing the pandemic. It highlights the importance of the public health experience in providing a comprehensive and integrated response to managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
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