Covid-19: Muslim women wearing purdah must also wear face masks, says Health DG

PETALING JAYA: Muslim women wearing the purdah (veil) must also wear a face mask underneath, says Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

“We are following the World Health Organisation's recommendation of wearing a three-ply face mask, as one layer is insufficient.

"If you are wearing a veil, this is insufficient, and we advise that a three-ply face mask or three-layer fabric face mask is worn underneath the veil," he said during the daily Covid-19 briefing on Thursday (Oct 22).

He said the National Security Council made it compulsory for face masks to be worn in public areas on Aug 1 and permitted the use of two types of facemasks, namely the three-ply surgical masks or three-layer fabric face masks.

He was responding to a question on whether Muslim women wearing the veil were also required to don face masks.

On a separate matter, Dr Noor Hisham rubbished claims on social media offering medicine to cure Covid-19, saying that no one has yet found a cure for the virus.

"If it is just taking vitamins, that is not a problem, but at the moment, there is no one medicine that can cure the virus.

"If there was, that person would become very rich as the entire world is now looking for a cure for Covid-19," he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said that genome sequencing of Covid-19 cases in the country has been carried out by the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) since early March, particularly with regard to cases linked to cluster outbreaks such as the Sri Petaling and Sivagangga clusters.

He said genome sequencing will not prevent the spread of the virus but will allow the health authorities to identify the characteristic of a particular virus to better contain it through preventive measures.

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