Stay Cautious, Covid-19 Still Around – Minister

Health Minister Dr. Zaliha Mustafa. Photo courtesy of Dr Zaliha Facebook

PUTRAJAYA, Dec 2 – The Health Ministry will continue to closely monitor the Covid-19 situation in the country, amid any possible scenario of a rise again in cases locally as well as the concerns raised with the situation in China, which has reported a significant increase in cases.

In a statement today, Health Minister Dr. Zaliha Mustafa said the ministry will increase the methods of containment of the spread of COVID-19 infection in the country as well as preparedness to face any possible increase in cases of COVID-19.

“With the extension of Malaysia as an “Infectious Endemic Area” until June 2023, it gives the MOH room to take any immediate action when needed. This includes changing the existing policy, especially the health care management of the COVID-19 pandemic at the national border (health border measures) as well as tightening the standard operating procedures (SOP) of health checks at any entry point of the country.

“It will be implemented if necessary, not only to visitors or travelers (Malaysian citizens and non-citizens) arriving from China but also those arriving from all countries in the world. The Ministry of Health is also always ready to increase health capacity to face any eventuality.”

Dr. Zaliha said the ministry was also close in contact with the World Health Organization, China and fellow ASEAN countries and will continue to take policies that are guided and based on science and accurate data.

“Based on the information reported by China to the WHO, variants and subvariants in China have also been detected in Malaysia. Referring to the available information, the COVID-19 vaccine is effective in providing protection against severe symptoms due to the infection of the COVID-19 virus and it should reduce hospital admissions. In addition, soon the bivalent vaccine will also be supplied to Malaysia following the conditional registration approval given by the Drug Control Authority recently. An announcement will be made after the supply is received along with the eligibility criteria to get it.”

The minister also reiterated her calls to the public to continue to be cautious and follow all pre-cautionary steps to avoid being infected.

Besides the use of mask, washing hands and other measures such as avoiding crowded and confined spaces, she also called on people to get their booster shots as they were still very effective in reducing serious symptoms and cases of death.

— WE