KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 — The public are encouraged to continue taking safe public health measures during the upcoming fasting month to protect themselves, their families and the community.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said while attending activities such as Tarawih prayers in mosques, religious talks, and breaking-fast events, people should keep in mind that COVID-19 and other viruses such as Influenza are still present.

He said the public health measures that can be taken include wearing a face mask especially in crowded or congested areas if one has symptoms, washing hands frequently after handshakes or keeping sanitiser handy, and practising proper coughing and sneezing etiquette. 

“Congregants are encouraged to bring their own praying mat and prayer garment for women, while individuals with symptoms are encouraged to practise self-risk assessment tests and avoid being in public areas.

“Individuals who are tested COVID-19 positive are prohibited from attending social activities and immediately seek treatment if symptoms worsen,” he said in a statement on the current situation of the COVID-19 infection in Malaysia here, today.

Dr Noor Hisham also advised the public to practice a healthy and balanced diet during fasting to ensure optimal health, and also to improve the body’s defence system against diseases, especially COVID-19.

He said excessive calorie intake and inactivity can increase the risk of obesity and non-communicable diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

On the latest status on COVID-19, Dr Noor Hisham said the number of new cases from March 12 to 18 recorded an increase of 18 per cent, to 1,848 cases compared with 1,566 cases reported in the previous week, bringing the cumulative figure to 5,047,040 since Jan 25, 2020.

He said the number of recoveries showed a drop of 13.7 per cent from 1,423 cases to 1,228 cases, while the number of deaths has increased by 150 per cent from two cases to five cases.

 He said this brings the total number of recovery cases to 5,000,457, while the number of deaths stands at 36,972.


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