Thursday, September 23, 2021

international

Govt considering flexibilities and privileges, says Muhyiddin


PUTRAJAYA: With more people in the country being fully vaccinated against Covid-19, the Malaysian public can start to look forward to the easing of pandemic curbs.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the government acknowledged that staying cooped up at home due to Covid-19 restrictions could impact mental health and some breathing space was needed.

“The government is now assessing what flexibilities or privileges we can give to those who have completed their vaccination dosage.

“Within the next few days, I will announce this as a total package of social, sports and dining-in activities that will be allowed for those who are fully vaccinated.

“I hope these (relaxations) can give the people a bit of room or breathing space to live a slightly better life,” he told reporters at a special media interview yesterday.

Also being looked into is the possibility of allowing fully vaccinated travellers arriving in Malaysia to undergo home quarantine.

“We are mulling some options for travellers or Malaysians returning from abroad. They can undergo quarantine at home instead of at a hotel or a centre. This will save costs.

“They may be given a wrist tracker and they will take a swab test before exiting quarantine,” said Muhyiddin.

Another flexibility being considered for the double vaccinated, he said, was to allow interstate travel for long-distance couples.

“These are all still being finalised and will be announced soon,” said Muhyiddin.

Malaysia has more than 5.2 million people who are fully vaccinated, which is about 16% of its total population.

Muhyiddin said while the Covid-19 situation in the country still showed high number of infections, he believed the National Recovery Plan (NRP) remained on track.

“The situation with rising Covid-19 numbers is also seen in our neighbouring countries, and this is due to the emergence of the Delta variant.

“But with the NRP, we have set the threshold that will guide us before the next phases. So far, eight states have entered Phase 2.

“Although some states have seen an increase in new infections, they do not get downgraded from Phase 2.

“Instead, our approach is to implement enhanced movement control order at certain localities.

“We have managed to pass several targets with our vaccination rate. Hopefully, we can reduce pressure on our health systems.

“It is a long and painful recovery, but I am confident we can pass this. Give the government a chance,” said Muhyiddin.

He said that Sarawak and Perlis were likely to be the first states to enter Phase 3 of the NRP.

“Sarawak’s level of vaccination is very high and their control of infections is good. We can expect the state to enter Phase 3 soon,” he said.

Published : July 25, 2021

By : The Star / ANN