Covid-19 no longer a public health emergency, says Dr Zaliha

PETALING JAYA: Covid-19 is not a public health emergency of international concern anymore, says the Health Ministry.

Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said the Emergency Committee of the International Health Regulations (2005), which met in Geneva on May 4, had decided on the move.

Dr Zaliha said this decision was taken considering the global trend which showed a drop in Covid-19 deaths, cases and the high world international population immunity against the SAR-CoV-2 virus.

"Furthermore the advent of diagnosis, treatment and vaccines was also a contributing factor in the declaration," said the minister in a statement on Monday (May 8).

"Taking into account the monitoring by the Health Ministry on the present status of the Covid-19 18th Epidemiology Week (ME 18/2023) from April 30 to May 6 a total of 7,596 Covid-19 cases was reported.

"The percentage during ME 18/2023 has increased by 53.1% compared to ME 17/2023 (April 23 to 29) to 4,963 cases which were reported.

She said the admission cases, including those diagnosed with Covid-19 to public health facilities, also showed an increase of 5.8 to 7.2 for every 100,000 population, although the situation is under control without disrupting health services.

Dr Zaliha said the ministry has extended the declaration of local infections from Jan 1 to 30 and the assessment will continue.

"The declaration of Malaysia as a domestic infection area was needed to fulfil the needs of isolation or the separation of the Covid-19 cases other than in the hospitals.

"The risk analysis of Covid-19 in Malaysia will be implemented in mid-June to reassess the declaration of domestic infections to determine future directions.

She said the ministry is ready to relook and update the Covid-19 guidelines by referring to the World Health Organisation regarding a long-term Covid-19 management transition.

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