Be vigilant even when rules are relaxed for travel and recreation, says Lee

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians are urged to stay vigilant despite the country having reached a comfortable level of protection in the fight against Covid-19.

Alliance for Safe Community chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye reminded the public that the challenge now is to not let their guard down.

"Recently, we saw a large number of people heading for picnic spots near waterfalls, rivers and beaches with minimal compliance with standard operating procedure (SOP).

"Despite such relaxations for travel and recreational activities, we must continue to strictly follow the basic precautionary measures which include washing hands, wearing masks and physical distancing," he said in a statement on Wednesday (Sept 22).

He reiterated the importance for employers to enforce strict SOP compliance within their premises among employees and customers.

Meanwhile, Lee commended the efforts by the Malaysian government and citizens in achieving a high level of success in the nation's vaccination drive.

"According to the latest reports, nearly 80% of the adult population have been fully vaccinated and 93.1% having received at least one dose.

"Altogether, nearly 41 million doses have been administered to our citizens.

"By global standards, we started the process late but have since overtaken many other countries while on our path towards achieving herd immunity," he said.

Lee added that despite the high vaccination rate, there are still risks faced by sections of the fully vaccinated population, especially senior citizens with comorbidities.

"For this, the government is already thinking of a third dose.

"In this respect, it is important to plan appropriately on when these booster doses will be given out while also making clear-cut decisions on its priority recipients.

"The sooner such details are decided upon and circulated the better," he said.

He said that in parallel to addressing these issues, the government should prioritise supporting the Institute for Medical Research in coming up with the nation's own vaccines in double quick time.

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