Penang exco proposes ‘Zero Rt’ campaign to regain state’s Covid-19 ‘green zone’ status
Norlela urged Penangites to work together to follow the SOPs and flatten the Covid-19 curve. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Jan 20 — Penang still has a low Rt rate of 1.09 despite recording over 100 new Covid-19 cases daily, its health exco Norlela Ariffin said today.

She said the infection rate in Penang is still relatively low so it is still possible to bring it down to zero.

“When there are a lot of cases, people will feel like there’s no point to adhere to the SOPs but our Rt has dropped so we can motivate the people to bring it down to zero,” she said.

She said this can encourage people to strictly follow the SOPs to bring down the infection rate.

Rt or R0, pronounced R-nought, refers to the virus’s transmission rate at a given time.

Norlela suggested that the state starts a ‘Zero Rt’ campaign and ‘Penang Goes Green Zone’ campaign to encourage people to strictly follow the SOPs and further bring down the state’s Rt.

Earlier, she shared the estimated Rt rate for Penang that had hovered around 1.20 from January 4 before dropping to 1.15 on January 15 and 1.09 on January 18.

“I have also proposed that SOPs should be included in the Occupational Safety and Health Standards and Practice for all factories,” she said.

She said this is so that the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) can enforce it for all companies and ensure a zero Rt at workplaces and factories. 

She added that there were many positive cases in Penang that originated from factories and construction sites involving foreign workers.

“It does not reflect the real prevalence,” she said.

She hoped the people will not lose hope but instead work together to follow the SOPs to flatten the curve.

“I have submitted my proposals to the Penang chief minister and the health minister to consider implementing the campaign,” she said.

As at January 19, Penang recorded a total 6,416 cases and 124 new cases yesterday.