PUTRAJAYA, June 9 — Malaysia is ready to ease restrictions on border control if daily COVID-19 cases recorded continue to be at a single digit during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) period from tomorrow until Aug 31, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. 

“If we can continue to record single-digit cases, then it shows we are ready to ease restrictions on border control,” he told a daily media conference on COVID-19 here today. 

Dr Noor Hisham said the Ministry of Health (MOH) was now looking into border control as the government was still strengthening the country’s borders. 

He said the current COVID-19 infectivity rate was less than 0.3 percent while daily cases were below MOH’s projection, which showed that the public was adhering to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). 

Dr Noor Hisham said the MOH was also planning for an exit strategy and considered this period as a soft landing to enable more sectors to be opened while at the same time make sure COVID-19 was under control. 

Dr Noor Hisham said that even if the COVID-19 virus was in the community, the infection chain could still be broken without a vaccine if Malaysians adhered to the SOP as well as embraced the 3C of (avoiding) crowded, confined, close (spaces) and 3W (wash, wear, warn). 

He said Malaysia was optimistic after a few countries, like New Zealand, managed to eradicate COVID-19 without vaccine. 

“We look back to cases like SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and how we managed to eradicate the two viruses without vaccine. If that (is) possible, we are planning to look forward but it will all depend on the public complying (with) the SOP,” he said. 

Dr Noor Hisham said that reducing the number of daily COVID-19 cases as well as keeping it at a single digit or even aiming for zero case was not impossible if everyone worked as a team. 

Meanwhile, he said that today’s positive case involving a foreign worker was detected when the person was screened for COVID-19 before starting work.

He suggested that employers could make it a requirement to test and and screen new workers as part of efforts to break the COVID-19 infection chain in the country.


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