Covid-19 to be included in country's broader health approach, says Health Ministry

PETALING JAYA: Covid-19 will be incorporated into a broader public health approach as Malaysia remains in the transition to endemic phase, says the Health Ministry.

It said that the virus would continue to be among Malaysians similar to other respiratory tract viruses such as influenza.

"For Covid-19, we are in the stage of living with the virus. Malaysia's approach in managing Covid-19 has always focused on a balance between lives and livelihood.

"Last year, we overcame two major infection waves without the need to impose further restrictions, while keeping the mortality rate low at 0.7%," it said in a statement to The Star on Monday (March 25).

The ministry also said that the local areas of infection had been extended until June 30, while policies involving the management of the virus were still being reviewed regularly.

"Among the SOPs that are being revised currently include policies on the use of masks, Home Surveillance Order and the extension of local areas of infection June 30.

"To ensure the smooth transitioning from pandemic to living with Covid-19, community participation is very essential and hence the Health Ministry will continue to engage and empower individuals and community," the statement read.

Malaysia has been in the "transition to endemic" phase since April 2022.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation had declared that Covid-19 was no longer a public health emergency in May 2023.

The Health Ministry said it was constantly monitoring the current Covid-19 situation globally and in Malaysia.

"The ministry has a monitoring method to assess the Covid-19 situation since the initial phase of the pandemic known as the Heightened Alert System (HAS) and is still in use today.

"The three indicators monitored in HAS are Covid-19 transmission, management of cases and hospital capacity to response," it said.

It also added that the government’s priority was to manage the intermittent wave without having to impose restrictions while keeping the death rate low.

According to KKMNow's data as of March 22, the total active case stood at 7,603 cases with a majority of cases undergoing home quarantine.

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