KUALA LUMPUR: The government is mulling whether it is possible to further ease restrictions in sectors that are considered not risky for fully vaccinated individuals living in states under Phase One of the National Recovery Plan, says Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
The Senior Minister said the government was still gathering some input and feedback from the respective experts.
"For Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, and Negri Sembilan, which are currently in Phase One, we are looking at relaxations by virtue of mental health for sectors that are considered not risky," he told a press conference held virtually Monday (Aug 9).
"Even if we are still stuck under Phase One, on the issue of mental health, we can look at some safe activities like going to the park, open-air 'pasar malam' (night markets)... these are the things that we are considering but I cannot announce it yet because I will need feedback from the experts," he said.
On Sunday (Aug 8), the government announced several privileges for those fully vaccinated and living in states categorised as Phase Two and subsequent phases under the National Recovery Plan.
The measures include, allowing dine-in at restaurants, outdoor individual sports and tourism.
On the issue of dine-in at restaurants in Phase One, the government has yet to decide on the matter and it would depend on the cooperation from the restaurant sector, especially in terms of complying with the rules of Covid-19 digital vaccination certification and observing all the relevant standard operating procedures.
Hishammuddin added that it was also vital to note that the healthcare system was currently strained especially in the greater Klang Valley in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, due to the high number of Covid-19 cases.
"In order for us to transition to Phase Two or Phase Three, it does not revolve around the issue of vaccination only.
"We have to look at the strain on our ICUs and hospital beds, and if it is too much, it will further be burdened especially in those areas," he said.
The government, Hishammuddin added, had formed a special taskforce to focus and strengthen the Klang Valley's healthcare system's preparedness to manage the Covid-19 pandemic, which is led by the deputy Health director-general Datuk Dr Chong Chee Kheong.
"There is nothing that the Prime Minister is unwilling to do to help those in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.
"If we need hospital beds, we will buy more beds, if we need more vaccines, we will prioritise the greater Klang Valley.
"If we need more manpower, we will do it. If we need medicine, ventilators or oxygen tanks, that is the job of the special taskforce.
"My wish is that the taskforce will be able to reduce the numbers and strain on our ICU beds so we can then move on to the next phase of the NRP," he said.