Health DG: Socio-economic needs of the rakyat must not be forgotten

  • Nation
  • Friday, 01 May 2020

PETALING JAYA: As the country moves into the recovery phase in the Covid-19 fight, the socio-economic needs of the people must also be considered.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that as Malaysia had managed to flatten the curve, the country must “strike a balance between life and livelihood”.

“It is clear that we are in the recovery phase and hopefully we can do what we can to improve the situation further.

“We have done three phases of the movement control order (MCO) and it has helped us flatten the curve.

“Now we are in the next phase, which is to manage the virus in our community, ” he said during his daily press briefing in Putrajaya on Friday (May 1).

He added that the World Health Organisation had also considered three factors, which are death rates, infection rates and socio-economic needs before declaring an international public health emergency.

However, he emphasised that every economic sector must comply with the standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the authorities.

“We sat down with every sector and advised them when coming up with the SOP. It is very clear – if they do not comply, then we will close the locality or even their premises.

“Most importantly, if there is an outbreak or case in the locality, we will take public health action and part of that is (implementing) an enhanced MCO, ” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham added that public gatherings are still prohibited, and urged for the rakyat to continue with good hygiene practices and social distancing.

He said that based on their surveillance, Covid-19 infections detected among cases of influenza like-illnesses (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infections (Sari) were declining, even though the Health Ministry had ramped up surveillance throughout the country.

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