Health DG: Protecting 'green zones' remains top priority in interstate travel decision

PUTRAJAYA: Protecting Malaysia's “green zones” must remain top on the country’s priority when making decisions such as allowing interstate travel, says Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pic).

The Health director-general said a proper risk assessment study needs to be conducted before reinstating travelling between state borders, which had been banned after the second movement control order.

“When conducting risk assessment, we have to look into many factors, and this includes the red zone, yellow zone and green zone situation.

“We should always protect our yellow and green zones and prevent them from becoming red.

“On whether to allow interstate travel, this needs to be discussed with the National Security Council. Balancing health and economic factors will be considered before any decision is made, ” said Dr Noor Hisham at his ministry’s Covid-19 press conference here on Tuesday (March 2).

Previously, Dr Noor Hisham had said interstate travel may only be allowed if 70% of the Malaysian public have received Covid-19 vaccines.

Red zones are districts where there are more than 40 Covid-19 cases reported in the area.

Yellow zones are areas with one to 40 cases, while green zones are those with zero cases.

After the government allowed interstate travel on Dec 7, many states which are previously green zones, have seen a rise in new infections.

The Health Ministry had said that up to Feb 8,4, 376 cases were found to be linked to individuals with a history of travelling between states.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham also said the public must continue practising Covid-19 preventive measures, even as the country has started its vaccination programme.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that we may not be able to end the Covid-19 pandemic by the end of this year.

“The WHO is also guided by the principle that 'no one is safe until everyone is safe'. Therefore, we must continue with our public health measures while also ramping up our vaccination programme.

“We should not be complacent even if it seems there is a decline in infections, ” he said.

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