By: Zaki Salleh
KUALA LUMPUR – The Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) has announced new standard operating procedures (SOP) and an extension of the declaration of local infection areas based on the assessment of the current situation of the infection.
This follows the successful management of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has effectively curbed the transmission of the infection and restored the country’s healthcare services.
Health Minister, Dr Zaliha Mustafa, stated that among the new SOPs are guidelines on the use of face masks, procedures for isolating confirmed Covid-19 cases, and the extension of the declaration of local infection areas.
“Individuals are required to wear face masks when they test positive for Covid-19 and when they are in healthcare facilities, following the Infection Control and Prevention practices when interacting with or handling patients.
“The use of face masks is strongly encouraged for high-risk individuals, such as the elderly, individuals with chronic illnesses, those with compromised immune systems, or pregnant women, especially in crowded places and areas with poor ventilation.
“Individuals with respiratory symptoms are advised to wear face masks to prevent transmission to others, especially when using public transportation such as buses, trains, aeroplanes, taxis including e-hailing services, and school buses or vans,” she said in a statement.
Regarding the procedure for isolating confirmed Covid-19 cases, the isolation period has been shortened from seven to five days from the onset of symptoms.
This is based on studies indicating that the infectivity of Covid-19 cases is high during the first five days of symptom onset, with high viral load during that period.
The SOP for the use of face masks and the procedure for isolating confirmed Covid-19 cases will take effect from July 5, 2023.