Government / Public Policy

No mask, no summons

BAGAN SERAI: The government has no plans to issue summons to any individual not wearing a face mask in public following the recent announcement by the Ministry of Health.

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali said the use of face masks indoors was now also optional.

"The government will not impose the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) and will not take action against anyone.

"People are familiar with and understand public health and we are close to getting back to our normal lives, even social and economic activities have also been held and group gatherings have been allowed.

"So, we need to take care of ourselves and practise new norms, including wearing a face mask if we have symptoms of Covid-19 and isolating ourselves in addition to making a report in the MySejahtera application," he said.

Dr Noor Azmi, who is also Bagan Serai Member of Parliament, said this at a press conference in conjunction with the Bukit Merah Orang Utan Island Foundation (YPOUBM) round table discussion that was also attended by Foundation Trustee Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Abdul Latif Mohamad here today.

However, Dr Noor Azmi said the public was encouraged to wear face masks in crowded places, adding that it was mandatory to wear face masks on public transport and at all healthcare facilities.

On Sept 7, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced that the Ministry of Health (MOH) had stipulated that the use of face masks indoors was now optional but that premises owners could still determine whether visitors were required to wear one.

In the meantime, Dr Noor Azmi said Malaysia is waiting for the declaration for the country to enter the endemic phase of Covid-19 due to the low number of infection cases recorded at the moment.

According to him, the declaration depends on the World Health Organisation (WHO) which determines the endemic phase status of a country.

"We previously entered the transition to endemic phase because there were still reported cases of Covid-19 and there are things we still have to take care of and control," he said.--BERNAMA

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