Covid-19 pandemic over, but MMA says Malaysia must not let guard down entirely

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 — Malaysia should continue to take measures that guard against Covid-19 notwithstanding the World Health Organisation declaring an end to the pandemic, the Malaysian Medical Association said.

MMA president Dr Muruga Raj Rajathurai said the WHO still maintained that Covid-19 was a significant threat, and countries must take steps to manage its risk as an endemic disease.

Malaysia could play its role in this by adopting long-term prevention, control, and management policies to contain Covid-19 in line with WHO’s response plan, he said.

“The pandemic has also shown us the importance of a resilient healthcare system. Therefore we urge the government to continue to prioritise strengthening the country's healthcare system, especially in terms of developing and expanding public healthcare human resources.

“Special attention also needs to be given to pandemic preparedness,” he said in a statement today.

Dr Muruga said that while Covid-19 was under control and Malaysia has a high level of immunity among its population, the coronavirus was still a significant threat to vulnerable groups such as the immunocompromised and the elderly.

Covid-19 still had the potential to strain the country’s public health system if preventive measures and safeguards were abandoned completely, he warned.

“Yes, we can move on from here, but the way forward in managing Covid-19 is for us to continue to use the knowledge we have accumulated that has kept us, our loved ones and others safe during the pandemic.

“Like the flu, we will from time-to-time encounter Covid-19 waves, but we should by now, be familiar with all the necessary steps to take like masking up when having symptoms as well as self-testing and isolating when testing positive,” he said.

He said these steps should by now be second nature in dealing with Covid-19.

“The pandemic has also taught us the value of proper handwashing or hand sanitising which is the most basic step in infectious disease prevention and control, a habit we should continue as it will not only help prevent Covid-19 but numerous other infectious diseases,” he added.

He also said face masks should be worn when in the presence of those known to be at high risk.