‘We should still mask up’ (Poll Inside)

Being cautious: Some say wearing a mask should be second nature, especially in crowded places. — MUHAMAD SHAHRIL ROSLI/The Star

Many believe face masks are necessary in crowded areas

PETALING JAYA: Face masks should still be required on public transport and in crowded places, say Malaysians even as Putrajaya mulls reviewing the directive.

Housewife Teng Pek Liang said she wears a mask when she goes out, particularly to the market where it is crowded.

She is especially cautious after contracting Covid-19 at the age of 70 and was nearly admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU).

Teng, determined not to be reinfected, rarely goes out but when she does, it is always with a mask on.

“I still insist on wearing a mask when I go out, and it makes me uncomfortable when I see people around me coughing and sneezing without a mask,” she said.On Thursday, Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said Malaysia’s Covid-19 standard operating procedure (SOP) will be reviewed at a Health Ministry meeting in the middle of this month.

This follows the World Health Organisation’s announcement that the respiratory disease is no longer categorised as a global health emergency.

Malaysia’s review could include removing the face mask mandate on public transport.

Aliya, 31, a content writer, said she wears a mask on public transport and ehailing rides.

Even if face masks would no longer be required on public transport, she will continue masking up in public spaces so as not to contract Covid-19 again.

“I insist on wearing a mask in lifts, train and taxi rides,” she said.

Administrative executive Feng, 50, who rides the MRT to work every day, always wears a mask on public transport and in crowded areas.

“I’ve seen many people who are unaware that wearing a mask is required on public transport, and others who are told to leave the station by auxiliary police,” she said, adding that commuters will only be allowed back after they’ve masked up.

Feng noticed that people have become more attentive to hygiene since the pandemic.

“My children and I wear masks on public transportation, so we will continue buying masks,” she added.

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