PETALING JAYA: Beginning Friday (May 27), travellers coming from countries with reported monkeypox cases will be sent an alert on the MySejahtera app, says Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
"As of Friday (May 27), the MySejahtera app will be updated so that passengers coming from countries where monkeypox is endemic and isn't, will receive an alert," said Khairy.
Khairy said these travellers would be reminded to monitor for symptoms for 21 days as the incubation period for monkeypox was up to three weeks.
Khairy said there were no monkeypox cases in Malaysia and that these were precautionary measures taken by authorities to prevent an outbreak.
He also said the Health Ministry would increase its diagnostic capabilities to screen for monkeypox using a PCR test.
"We will expand our capacity and our ability to test for monkeypox using PCR and other molecular testing," he told a virtual press conference at the sidelines of the World Health Assembly (WHA) at Geneva, Switzerland, on Thursday (May 26) evening.
Khairy said public and private hospitals as well as clinics have been instructed by the Health Ministry to be ready to detect monkeypox cases.
Hospitals should also prepare with isolation wards to treat patients with monkeypox.
Khairy also said that the Health Ministry was preparing vaccination strategies for close contacts and health workers in the event of a monkeypox outbreak in Malaysia.
"We also want to educate the public about monkeypox symptoms and what behavioural changes they can perform to reduce the risk of transmission," he said.
Khairy also said there was no plan to conduct a mass immunisation program for monkeypox.
"We will vaccinate those with close contacts and also health workers attending to patients with monkeypox.
"For now, there are no plans for mass vaccination," added Khairy.
In the event of a monkeypox outbreak, Khairy said the MySejahtera's Home Surveillance Order (HSO) SOP for Covid-19 would be replicated.
Among the symptoms of monkeypox were acute rashes, fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, muscle and body aches, back pain and profound weakness.
Monkeypox cases have been reported in France, UK, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, and several countries within the African continent.