MoH will consider calling off Ramadhan bazaars if they cause new clusters of infections in the community
by S BIRRUNTHA / pic by ARIF KARTONO
THE Health Ministry (MoH) is proposing the postponement of interstate travel for the upcoming Hari Raya celebration.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country is still at an alarming level and the government is taking the matter very seriously.
“Many parties have appealed to the government to allow interstate travel for the Aidilfitri celebrations.
“However, MoH has suggested postponing this as new variants of the virus have been detected in the community and the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP) is still ongoing,” he said at the launch of “Malaysia Health Sector Response to Covid-19 Pandemic — Perspectives from the Field” book in Putrajaya yesterday.
When asked whether individuals who had already received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine would be given an exemption to cross states in conjunction with the festival, Dr Adham said he is still awaiting findings from the World Health Organisation and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention on whether people who have been vaccinated can be allowed for interstate travel.
“However, for frontline workers, interstate travel is allowed if it is for work,” he added.
Additionally, Dr Adham noted that the government has received many complaints about the non-compliance of the standard of procedures (SOPs) in many Ramadhan bazaars nationwide.
He stressed that the ministry will consider calling off Ramadhan bazaars if they cause new clusters of infections in the community.
He also noted that his ministry had authorised mayors, presidents of local councils and Grade 19 enforcement officers to issue compounds for offences under Act 342, including SOP violations at Ramadhan bazaars effective April 14.
Speaking on the spike of Covid-19 cases in Sarawak, the minister said about 500 MoH staff will be mobilised to help contain the increase of Covid-19 cases in the state.
“We immediately reviewed the situation in Sarawak and surveyed the condition of the longhouse community in Sri Aman.
“We found that there was an urgent need to add more health workers and officers to the state.
“For that, the MoH has provided all the initial preparations and it will be implemented in stages with the mobilisation beginning April 21,” he added.
The new “Malaysia Health Sector Response to Covid-19 Pandemic — Perspectives from the Field” book is a follow-up to its first edition which was published last year.
Dr Adham said the second edition is focused on the additional responses and strategies to the Covid-19 outbreak by the healthcare sector.
The book was published by the Health Systems Research Institute.