Get used to no mass gatherings in next six months, Health D-G tells Malaysians

Ben Tan


Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said Malaysians should get used to the absence of mass gatherings in the next six months as the country continue to recoil from the Covid-19 pandemic. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 — Malaysians should get used to the absence of mass gatherings in the next six months as the country continue to recoil from the Covid-19 pandemic, Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today.

Despite the extended movement control order (MCO) currently ending on April 14, he said Malaysians will now have to live with new norms to safeguard themselves from Covid-19.

“For example, it is now the norm for us not to shake hands, constantly wash our hands and also practice safe social distancing of about one metre.

“On mass gatherings, from six-months to a year, we can see that we discourage mass gatherings,” said Dr Noor Hisham during the daily press conference on Covid-19.

On the Ramadan bazaars, Dr Noor Hisham again said Malaysians need to have creative ideas and innovative approaches against mass gatherings.

He said based on the first phase of the MCO, there was about a 70 per cent increase of people using food deliveries to their homes.

“Perhaps the e-Ramadan bazaar idea where food will be sent to the respective homes can be put forward as it follows the Health Ministry’s guidelines against mass gatherings,” said Dr Noor Hisham.

On Wednesday, Dr Noor Hisham suggested e-bazaars or an online bazaar or a drive-thru bazaar as a platform so that people can avoid many people congregating in one place.

He said these could be alternatives to having the usual Ramadan bazaar as they cannot predict if the spread of Covid-19 will dissipate enough to allow people to resume their normal lives by next month.

Earlier, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaacob said Ramadan bazaars will not be allowed as long as the MCO is still in place.

Following a discussion today, he said it had been decided that if the MCO is lifted, the National Security Council (NSC) will draw up a new standard operating procedure (SOP).



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