As Covid-19 turns endemic, MOH says working with NSC for simple, more streamlined SOPs

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Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said clearer SOPs would be provided for the public. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said clearer SOPs would be provided for the public. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) said today it will be working with the National Security Council (NSC), Finance and Communications Ministries to streamline Covid-19 SOPs within the next 100 days.

In a press conference, its minister Khairy Jamaluddin said that a set of guidelines that is simpler for the public to understand will replace the current SOPs set by NSC as Malaysia heads towards dealing with Covid-19 as an endemic.

“A much simpler, clearer SOPs will be developed within 100 days, especially for the endemic phase.

“That will replace the mountains and mountains of pages under NSC currently which we think are too complicated and difficult to understand,” he said.

The Rembau MP added emphasis will be given to increasing the awareness of a new way of life in an endemic, so public compliance can be increased.

On mental health, Khairy said that the percentage of those aware of mental health services in Malaysia is very low, and that the MOH will host campaigns to raise the awareness of these services.

“I have also asked for an increase in the capacity of psychosocial support services by 10 per cent to deal with calls and referrals for psychosocial services,” he said adding that more related NGOs will be involved in the programme.

He said that additional granular data on Covid-19 will be uploaded to an open source hub next week, to increase the trust and the confidence of Malaysians with the ministry.

He said that contact tracing would also be drastically improved within the next 100 days, with more automated contact tracing to ensure safety in the endemic phase, adding that a National Testing and Tracing policy would be introduced.

“This means that during the endemic phase, it is clear how many times we need to do a test, in what capacity we need to do the test, what kind of test we have to do.

“It will also be made clear to the public on when they need to be tested, and if they are found to be positive in the endemic phase, what is the process for contact tracing and isolation,” he said.

Khairy added that upgrades to the MySejahtera application will happen from time to time, with one such update being a new function to report cases of long Covid.

“This is to ensure that in the endemic phase, for those people who are positive and have extended effects of Covid-19, this can be reported through MySejahtera for the health authorities to recommend intervention,” he said.

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