PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia must remain vigilant in its fight against Covid-19 to avoid a spike in cases as seen in other countries where the numbers are steadily increasing.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the country and the people need to be mindful of a World Health Organisation advisory several months ago where the world body said that there would be a surge of Covid-19 cases or a possible new wave of infection in the next six months.
He said as the year comes to a close, higher cases have been documented in Hong Kong, Japan and Australia, even more as they are about to transit into the winter season.
He said Malaysia needs to be careful and remain with its measures to tighten border controls and the people must comply with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
“Although we have begun negotiations and discussions to allow green lanes for certain countries, talks can still go on. But it is the implementation that we need to look into and the Covid-19 situation in the respective countries.
“We also need to continue to enhance public health control to contain local transmission. We must take positive action and we need the cooperation of every individual in this country to follow the SOPs.
“Our weapon is physical distancing of at least one metre, adherence to the compulsory wearing of mask ruling, washing of hands and avoid crowded and confined spaces, where there is a risk of contracting the infection,” he said during a press conference at the ministry headquarters today.
Dr Noor Hisham called on Malaysians to stress on the importance of protecting themselves and adopt the practice of donning face masks to avoid the Covid-19 virus.
“Try to embrace it as part of your culture and this has been highlighted by the delegation from China when they came earlier (to share expertise in fighting Covid-19) and they suggested that we continue use of face masks.
“Now that it is compulsory, there are two kinds of face masks, one is for medical purposes and the other is fabric which can be used but it must comply to the requirement of three layers as set by the WHO,” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham said there was no need to put on face masks if one was alone or when exercising.
“We have all sorts of SOPS but if we do not adhere to them, we cannot achieve success (in efforts to battle Covid-19). We need to take care of our family and the society around us,” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham said there were a total of eight active clusters which emerged due to import cases as the returnees had failed to comply to the Home Surveillance Order (HSO) which was enforced from June 10 to July 23.
Aside from the PUI Sivangga Cluster, the others were Elsa Cluster, PUI Novgorod Cluster, PUI Pitakwa Cluster, PUI Melbourne Cluster, PUI Ramnad Cluster, PUI Al Khonar Cluster and PUI Shirala Cluster.