MELAKA, June 5 — The Health Ministry (MOH) will take prudent and safe steps with regards to the implementation of the 15th general election (GE15), said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
He said the the country is still in the transition to the endemic phase and the ministry is still waiting for the impact of this phase.
“If the transition to the endemic phase does not result in a serious wave (of COVID-19 cases), I feel only then we can hold the GE15 as this is not like state elections (PRN) where we are still able to control many things,” he said.
“But after this, without any further restrictions, surely political parties will want to hold ‘ceramah’. Previously, (during the PRN) we did not have large-scale ceramahs so for me it is better for us to be vigilant and careful,” he said.
He was responding to UMNO Youth chief Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki’s statement today that there was no reason for not holding the GE15 soon as the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the government and opposition will end after July apart from the COVID-19 situation improving.
Meanwhile, Khairy also reminded the public to use the right terminology in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are still in a pandemic. Moreover, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has not announced that COVID-19 is a public health emergency of international concern, and when announced then Malaysia will also make an announcement that we will no longer will use Act 342 (Amendment of the Prevention and Control Act) Infectious Diseases 1988).
“It means under Act 342, I as the Health Minister will declare Malaysia as a COVID-19 pandemic area. So it is not accurate (to say) that we have ended the pandemic,” he said.
In the meantime, Khairy said the government will provide free COVID-19 vaccination to children on certain celebrations such as the National Immunisation Day on June 16 after the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme for Children (PICKids) ended on May 31.
“We will open this (vaccination) to those above the age of five. This is a privilege…as some may have missed out (vaccination), so we will open this again on certain celebrations,” he said.
He also said said children who have reached five years of age will receive free vaccine injections until Jan 31, 2023.
He added that reservations for the vaccine could be made through the MySejahtera application and appointments at clinics that provide the service.