Health ministry eases Covid-19 guidelines; masks not mandatory on public transport and hospitals

KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry has eased the Covid-19 guidelines in the country following the World Health Organisation's statement on May 1 that Covid-19 is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). 

Its minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa in a statement today said the easing of the guidelines will come into effect on July 5 and  includes the non-mandatory use of face masks when riding public transportation and in hospitals.

"The use of face masks however is mandatory for those who are Covid-19 positive and health workers adhering to infection control practices in health facilities.

"Using face masks by high risk individuals in crowded areas and places with bad air circulation is also highly encouraged."

Dr Zaliha added that quarantine procedures for Covid-19 positive cases have also been shortened from seven days to five days from the onset of the first symptoms.

She also said that declaration of Malaysia as an infected area under the Prevention of Infectious Diseases Act has been extended for another six months to 31 December, though the Covid-19 situation is no longer concerning.

"The extension of the declaration of Malaysia as an infected area is still necessary given that there is a risk of the emergence of new variants and subvariants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the country.

"The extension is also to ensure the enforcement of several provisions in the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988."

She also assured that the Health Ministry will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation and take immediate and appropriate action when necessary and advised the public to continue to practice good personal hygiene to avoid contracting infectious diseases including that of Covid-19.

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