No change to Covid-19 SOP in M’sia

Beware of the new wave: An average of 350,000 travellers cross the border from Malaysia to Singapore daily, mostly for work. — Filepic

JOHOR BARU: Cross-border travel for Malaysians working in Singapore will not be affected by the recent wave of Covid-19 infections in the island republic for now, says Johor health and environment committee chairman Ling Tian Soon.

However, he advised those with comorbidities or from high-risks groups to mask up when heading out.

“Although a fresh Covid-19 wave has hit Singapore, we are keeping to the same standard operating procedure (SOP) for now.

“I advise the public, especially senior citizens, children and those with pre-existing illnesses, to wear a face mask when going to crowded or public areas,” he told reporters after attending a Wesak Day celebration at the Fo Guang Shan Hsingmasi temple here yesterday.Ling said the situation in the state was still manageable, with 154 Covid-19 cases reported in epidemiological week 20 (May 12-18).

This was a slight increase from 138 cases recorded in the previous week and 95 in week 18.

Asked whether a new SOP would be introduced for cross-border travellers, especially with thousands of Malaysians commuting to and from the city-state for work daily, Ling said he would discuss the matter with the Health Ministry.

“If need be, the ministry will issue a new SOP. For now, the existing SOP remains for all, including cross-border travellers, to mask up if you are in the high-risk groups and continue maintaining good personal hygiene.

“Those experiencing symptoms such as flu and cough should seek medical attention immediately and wear a face mask to prevent infecting others,” he said.

He added that Covid-19 test kits are readily available at pharmacies and retail outlets for residents who want to perform self-tests.

Last Saturday, Singapore’s Health Ministry said the estimated number of Covid-19 cases in the week of May 5 to 11 had risen to 25,900 cases, compared with 13,700 cases in the previous week.

It also said the average daily Covid-19 hospitalisations had increased to about 250, from 181 the week before.

The ministry added that the combined proportion of subvariants KP.1 and KP.2 accounted for over two-thirds of Covid-19 cases in the republic then.

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