PUTRAJAYA – The decision on whether Malaysia will enter the endemic phase of COVID-19 will be made after the Ministry of Health (MOH) presents a report on new recommendations and standard operating procedures (SOP) to the Cabinet next week, said Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa (picture).
Malaysia is currently in the transition to the endemic phase, which began on April 1, 2022.
Speaking to reporters after attending the MOH’s monthly assembly here today, Dr Zaliha said the review of the new recommendations and SOP will take into account the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) guidelines, the global COVID-19 situation, and the number of infections in the country.
“We will announce this (transition) status after I present it to the Cabinet… the Public Health Department has already recommended that we implement a new SOP,” she said.
Last May, the MOH announced that the status of local areas of infection would remain unchanged for the time being even though the WHO has declared that COVID-19 is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
Dr Zaliha was reported to have said that the move was necessary to meet the need for quarantine or isolation of COVID-19 cases in places other than hospitals and the need for employers to bear the cost of treatment and testing for COVID-19 for their employees.
Prior to this, the MOH had extended the declaration of local areas of infection from Jan 1 to June 30.
As of June 17, Malaysia had a total of 5,112,019 cases, including imported cases and 37,118 fatalities.
Yesterday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo declared an end to the national emergency status of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, Dr Zaliha said the health SOP for the upcoming elections in six states would depend on the announcement of the transition status.
The six states that will be holding state elections are Selangor, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu. – Bernama