KUALA LUMPUR: The decision to relax the mask mandate was only made after taking into account all factors, says Khairy Jamaluddin.
The Health Minister said he was aware public health experts were concerned.
“We take note of the concerns of public health experts, but the Health Ministry had to make a decision after taking into consideration all factors including the comfort of the people and the science behind the infection,” he said.
He also said there had been scientific findings that the risk of infection was lower outdoors than indoors.
Khairy added that his ministry was very clear with its recommendations, which is for people – especially those who are in high risk groups, the elderly and immunocompromised as well as unvaccinated children – to don their face masks in crowded places even if outdoors.
“We are in the transition phase. We want to make people used to community solidarity and individual responsibility,” he told a press conference after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Clinical Research Malaysia and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi).
As for teachers who would be conducting physical lessons, he said they were allowed to remove their face masks.
However, he added that those who were symptomatic should not be allowed to conduct physical lessons.
Khairy announced a slew of relaxed Covid-19 measures on Wednesday, among which, scanning the MySejahtera app before entering premises and donning face masks outdoors would no longer be compulsory from tomorrow.
He also recommended business owners check the risk profile on the MySejahtera app of customers and visitors to ensure that those entering their premises, especially in high-risk places such as restaurants, were not Covid-19 positive.
“Aside from that, employers will also have to ensure that their employees are not Covid-19 positive and that those who are under a home surveillance order do not enter their work premises,” he said.
He said premises owners and enforcement authorities could also conduct random checks on the risk profiles of visitors on their MySejahtera app.
“Action can be taken according to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) if a visitor is found to be high risk and has breached the law,” he added.