Malaysia will enter a new battlefield next week, says Health DG

Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. -Bernama filepic

KUALA LUMPUR: Next week the country will move into the endemic stage of the Covid-19 and all Malaysians have to be prepared to adapt to new norms.

More restrictions imposed during the pandemic are slowly being lifted for this purpose, one of which is the resumption of interstate and overseas travels.

Businesses, including hoteliers, are already making the necessary preparations to face this transition with new strategies in place.

Stakeholders have decided to strictly adhere to standard operating procedure to prevent Covid-19 clusters and another lockdown, which could hit hard their respective industries all over again.

Advising the public to take precautions when the endemic stage starts, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, in his Facebook post, said everyone must adapt to new norms and understand that the world would not be the same anymore.

According to Bernama, he said the onus was on the people to play their roles to keep the Malaysian Family safe from Covid-19.

Anticipating that many people would be travelling to their hometowns this weekend, Dr Noor Hisham advised all to take time to plan and do what was necessary to comply with the respective SOP.

Show and tell: Homestay owner Karim Abdullah showing visitors how to set a crab trap (bintur) at Kampung Air Tradisi Patau-Patau in Labuan. This activity has become one of the main attractions for tourists and homestay visitors in the water village. — BernamaShow and tell: Homestay owner Karim Abdullah showing visitors how to set a crab trap (bintur) at Kampung Air Tradisi Patau-Patau in Labuan. This activity has become one of the main attractions for tourists and homestay visitors in the water village. — Bernama

“We have been successful thus far in averting a national disaster, as seen currently in many other countries.

“But we are not out of the woods yet, as next week, we will fight on a new battlefield with new strategies in place.

“We can only win this war if all of us, all Malaysians, collectively come together as part of our social responsibility to embrace standard operating procedures and guidelines set by the government,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham said Malaysians must have social discipline, especially in embracing physical distancing, taking all precautionary measures, and maintaining good personal hygiene.

Business premises, he added, should address the ventilation of spaces with regular sanitisation of common areas such as pantries or surau, and to only allow a limited number of people to congregate in a particular place at any one time.

“We must all learn that every individual’s action has a ripple effect on how we manage Covid-19 in our community. We have to adapt, adjust and accommodate the new norms in our lives,” he said.

Meanwhile, business stakeholders have pledged to follow all the SOP imposed by the government to ensure smooth business.

Johor South SMEs Association adviser Teh Kee Sin said Covid-19 would be part of them for a long period of time and that they would need to work to put food on the table.

“Self-discipline is very important and the majority of Malaysians are following the guidelines and instructions imposed by the government as it is for our own good,” he said.

Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Sabah and Labuan chairman Hafizan Wong said MySejahtera check-ins, temperature checks and full vaccination requirements were in place.

Employees must be fully vaccinated, while guests must fill in health declaration forms upon check-in, he said, adding that sanitation was consistently conducted in rooms.

“Our staff have been trained on all steps that are to be taken,” Hafizan said, adding that some hotels had even minimised its usage capacity despite the government allowing a 50% capacity for their in-house facilities such as pools, playgrounds and gyms.

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