Malaysia’s health ministry publicize that masks are no longer counted as people’s obligation to wear in most of public areas, such as public transport and health care facilities on Thursday, 29th of June 2023. This new provision about mask was determined since the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that COVID-19 is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on 5th of May 2023.
Face masks are required to be worn by people, and also health workers, who tested positive on Covid-19 and they have to comply with infection control practices. Public transport areas consist of e-hailing services, flights, taxis, buses and trains. While health care facilities consist of hospitals, clinics and nursing homes.
Despite the erasion of the mask mandate, Dr. Zaliha Mustafa said that the use of face masks is still suggested for everyone’s safety, especially for elders and people with chronic diseases. They don’t need to avoid crowded places, but are expected to wear face masks for their self protection.
The Covid-19 patients’ isolation period is also reduced from seven days, to five days. The provision is based on studies that say that the infectivity of COVID-19 cases is high in the first five days from the onset of symptoms with a high viral load during that period, Malaysia’s Health Minister, Dr. Zaliha Mustafa stated.
But since the new variant of Covid-19 has appeared and might be infecting the people, Health Minister Dr. Zaliha Mustafa added the status of Malaysia as an infected area under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 has been extended to 31st of December 2023.
“In addition, large gatherings that are expected to occur during the Hari Raya Haji celebrations and state elections are likely to risk contributing to an increase in cases,” the Health Minister said.