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KJ: Malaysia To Enter Endemic Phase By End Of Oct, Less Complicated SOPs To Be Released

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Source: Berita Harian & SCMP

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Newly-appointed Minister of Health Khairy Jamaluddin held his first press conference yesterday (1 September) to address certain matters regarding the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia.

The Rembau MP said that Malaysians can expect the Covid-19 pandemic to enter the endemic phase by the end of October when 80% of the population is expected to be vaccinated and citizens would need to learn how to “live with the virus.”

“We will wait for the next two months when 80% of the population are vaccinated,” he said.

“In the case of Labuan and to a lesser extent, Sarawak – they are already in an endemic phase. So I can say by then we will reach a phase where we start living with the virus.”

“Right now, there are some states that are still in mitigation and containment mode.”

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Additionally, he said that the government will announce new Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP) when the endemic phase begins so that they are easy to understand and not complicated.

He stressed that even though most of the population have been vaccinated, people’s routines would need to change to allow for more sectors to be opened.

One of the norms that will continue to be made mandatory in the future would be the wearing of masks.

“We have seen how some countries had to make mask-wearing compulsory again following the emergence of more contagious variants,” Khairy said.

“So we will retain the mask mandate.”

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Khairy added that the Ministry of Health (KKM) is still deciding on a national testing policy where people would be required to test themselves for Covid-19 when the country enters the endemic phase.

“Once we go into the endemic phase, whether you have been vaccinated or not, you need to test yourself quite regularly,” he said, reported CNA.

“That’s why we want to make testing more affordable and more accessible.”

He said if the government does not make Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory by law, the requirement of getting tested regularly would be one of the options where those who refuse the vaccine would have to follow a certain schedule and regime of testing.

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For illustration purposes only

“We will come out with a national testing policy to hopefully take into account those who refuse to be vaccinated,” he said.

“But my preferred outcome is that if you have got no medical reason, or any reason to not be vaccinated, go and get vaccinated.

“I have not come to the stage where I will recommend to the Cabinet a federal mandate, but I am not far from it either.”

In a tweet on 2 September, Khairy said KKM and the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs have set the ceiling price for Covid-19 rapid test kits at RM19.90 for retail and RM16 for wholesale.

“We will also be exploring bulk purchase options to drive the price down further and also look at providing free kits for B40 families,” he said.

Stay tuned for more updates!

 

Also read: 18% Of Recent Covid-19 Cases In M’sia Were Fully Vaccinated, But Most Didn’t Need Hospitalisation

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Source: SCMP


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