Malaysia keeps policy on face masks, as Singapore now encourages use

John Bunyan
People wearing face masks are pictured outside Pavilion Kuala Lumpur February 10, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 — Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah today reiterated that only those with Covid-19 symptoms and frontliners are advised to wear face masks, despite Singapore now encourages the practice following its new restrictions.

Dr Noor Hisham said that maintaining social distancing of one metre is more important and adequate to stop the spreading of the infection.

“As we mentioned earlier, only those with symptoms are advised to wear the mask,” he said in a press conference this evening.

“Also, if you’re a frontliner, who is attending a Covid-19 patient or a police officer who is exposed to the crowd, then we advise them to wear a mask as well.”

However, he stressed that those who want to take extra precaution are not discouraged from wearing the masks.

Dr Noor Hisham was responding to Singapore’s decision which no longer discourages people who are well from wearing masks.

Earlier, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said there is evidence showing a few people can be infected, but not show any symptoms.

He also announced that the Singapore government will distribute reusable masks to all households from Sunday.

Malaysia had previously faced shortage of face masks for the use of its medical frontliners.

Several traders have also been arrested for price-gouging, causing Putrajaya to fix a ceiling price — now at RM1.50 per sheet.



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