NRP thresholds may be changed as vaccination rate increases, says Tengku Zafrul

PETALING JAYA: The National Recovery Council (NRC) will discuss with the Health Ministry about changing the transition thresholds in the National Recovery Plan (NRP) as more Malaysians get vaccinated.

NRP coordinating minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz (pic) said there were examples of a significant drop in hospital and intensive care unit admissions in countries such as the United Kingdom where vaccination rates were around 40%, indicating that the number of serious cases dropped as more people get vaccinated.

"We see the same trend in Labuan as well as among Health Ministry staff members who have been fully vaccinated.

"The NRP is dynamic. If there is a drop in cases and most infections are not serious, then the daily number of cases is not the correct indication for progression in the plan anymore," he said in an interview on Agenda Awani on Friday (July 23).

He said instead of solely focusing on the number of cases in the third phase, when the country's vaccination rate is expected to be higher, the NRC has proposed changing the threshold indicators to ICU capacity or even deaths.

However, that decision is subject to expert advice, Tengku Zafrul said.

Separately, Tengku Zafrul believes the Malaysian economy could return to pre-pandemic levels by next year but it will all depend on the progress of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme and the NRP.

He also said various views, including the United Nations' held that post-pandemic economic recovery rates will differ between countries around the globe with some countries taking between three to five years to recover.

"Malaysia's recovery may also be aided by measures in Budget 2022 which will complement plans in the 12th Malaysia Plan," he said.

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