KOTA BHARU, Jan  31  — The draft amendments to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) have been submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC), said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He explained that as Act 342 was gazetted in 1988, it needed to be amended including the maximum compound of RM1,000 and below under this Act, in accordance with current needs.

“Now we will use the Emergency Ordinance to make the amendments,” he told reporters after visiting the COVID-19 Low-Risk Treatment and Quarantine Centre at Pusat Tarbiyah Islamiah Kelantan (PUTIK), here, today.

Yesterday, Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador reportedly said that the time had come for the compound to be increased for flouting the standard operating procedure (SOP) under the Movement Control Order (MCO) following the spike in COVID-19 cases in this country.

He said that each week, thousands of compound notices were issued to individuals who flouted the MCO SOP, mostly the rule of physical distancing.

Asked on Islamic or traditional medicine as an alternative method to treat COVID-19, Dr Noor Hisham said there must be strong studies done and proof of their efficacy. 

“Likewise, the use of vaccines would require three phases of clinical trials to be able to see the side effects and effectiveness of the vaccines. It’s the same with traditional medicine, so we have to conduct studies first for proof of its efficacy.”

Dr Noor Hisham was responding to a statement on Jan 26 by Kelantan State Executive Councillor for Local Government and Health, Hilmi Abdullah who is also a practitioner with the Persatuan Perubatan Islam DarusSalam Malaysia (DarusSalam) on Jan 26, suggesting that the government consider the Islamic method as an alternative treatment for COVID-19 in assisting the Health Ministry treat the rising cases.


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