Covid-19: Health Ministry sticking to timeline for transition to endemic status

PUTRAJAYA: Despite the increase in Covid-19 cases since the Hari Raya celebrations, the Health Ministry will stick to its plan of reviewing the country’s transition to endemic status by next month, says Dr Zaliha Mustafa.

The Health Minister said Malaysia is still transitioning from the pandemic to endemic phase of the outbreak which started in 2020. This phase is expected to be completed by June 30.

“Even though the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended ending the public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) status for Covid-19, our country has been showing a slight increase in cases.

“The rise is often seen during celebrations such as Hari Raya, but the number of cases is under control.

“Our transition to endemic phase will end on June 30, so by mid-June, we will review it according to the guidelines issued by WHO,” she said at a media briefing session on the Health White Paper at the ministry here on Tuesday (May 30).

Malaysia began the transition to endemic phase on April 1 last year following the effectiveness of public health preventive and control measures, which included the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

Earlier this month, the ministry reported a rise in infections, hospital occupancy and death rate, especially at the end of April.

By May 8, Dr Zaliha announced that the virus was no longer a public health emergency following the decision by the WHO Emergency Committee on International Health Regulations.

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