Public wants to keep wearing masks despite SOP relaxation


KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 — The relaxation of several COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOP) especially regarding the requirement for face masks has gained positive feedback from the public but most of them still want to continue wearing one including when outdoors.

The new relaxed SOPs that will take effect from May 1 include optional wearing of masks in outdoor settings and no more MySejahtera check-ins as well as physical distancing.

Security analyst Nur Qamarina Sharul Niza, 25, said that MySejahtera check-ins are irrelevant as most people did not adhere to the SOP when going into office or business premises.

“However, I do feel like we should continue wearing a mask regardless of the SOP, it has given me a layer of protection from the disease,” she told Bernama.

Key account manager Choy Yew Hoong, 38, said that this is a good move towards the endemic stage and the people should be vigilant as well as still practice safety measures in crowded areas and indoors.

“We still need to remember that COVID-19 is still a threat and the high-risk group should continue to get booster vaccination,” he said.

Fathin Maisarah Azrin Haniff, 25, a junior engineer, agreed as long as the government still continues with quarantine implications for travellers coming from foreign nations.

“As for masks, I think it’s better to continue wearing them as it has become a new norm. However, if you have difficulty breathing, this new announcement is good for their wellbeing,” she added.

Meanwhile, public health specialist (Health Economy and Public Health) of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Prof Dr Sharifa Ezat Wan Puteh said that with the data collected by the government, this is a progression for the country to move into the endemic phase.

“We still do not know the impact of this announcement. I hope the public still continues to wear their masks, especially during gatherings this Aidilfitri to ensure there is no spike of infection after the celebration,” she advised.