PUTRAJAYA: Wearing face mask is strongly encouraged among the people, especially those in public and crowded areas, to reduce the risk of infection from Covid-19, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
“The Ministry of Health (MOH) encourages them to wear mask but at the moment it is not compulsory,” he told a daily press conference on Covid-19 here yesterday.
In addition, Dr Noor Hisham also reminded that other conditions must also be followed namely maintaining social distancing of at least one metre and observing good personal hygiene including frequent hand-washing.
“The MOH hopes that all Malaysians will adhere to the SOP (standard operating procedure),” he said.
Asked on compliance by the public on the first day of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), Dr Noor Hisham said it was too early to judge.
“But looking into the practice of other countries like in Taiwan or South Korea, they do not have MCO in place but they have social discipline and comply to the SOP. Now the SOP is clear and the MOH would like to urge all Malaysians to practice social distancing, put on a mask when in public and continue to wash hands from time to time,” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham said the SOPs for the industries and restaurants are also clear and that compliance is very important to break the Covid-19 infection chain.
“If they can comply, we can break the infection chain, if not, there is a risk for our infectivity rate to increase from the current rate of 0.7 and this will be closely monitored,” he said.
Asked on the ministry’s justification on the CMCO which has been gazetted, Dr Noor Hisham said the strategy for MCO phase one, two and three was to flatten the curve by encouraging everyone to stay at home.
“MCO phase one, two and three and early part of four is to make sure the public stay at home, that is the message. Now the message to the public on CMCO is to follow the SOP,” he said. — Bernama