PETALING JAYA: Despite the relaxation of the mask mandate, pharmacists are not anticipating many changes in stock, sales or prices for the once-precious commodity.

Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society president Amrahi Buang said people would still have to replenish their stock of face masks as they need to continue wearing them indoors.

“I think the awareness (of the safety precautions) will still be there. I don’t expect it to change,” he said, adding that some had even started using this as a “fashion statement”.

On whether the new mandate would affect prices, he said that while there were expectations for prices to fall, the quality of the product could not be compromised.

Community pharmacists, he added, are aware of the trends in demand and supply when it comes to maintaining stock.

Stressing the importance of self-regulation as Malaysia moves towards endemicity, Amrahi said everyone has to take care of themselves.

“I think that after two years of living with the virus, we are very familiar with the symptoms.

“If you have symptoms, you cannot come out and you have to wear a mask,” he said.

Medical Practitioners Coalition Association of Malaysia president Dr Raj Kumar Maharajah said the public should be extra vigilant despite the relaxed Covid-19 prevention measures.

The move to relax the measures, he said, is a bit premature as many children below five had yet to be vaccinated, putting them at risk of infection.

“The public needs to be reminded repeatedly that we are still not in the endemic phase.

“They need to be responsible by isolating themselves if they are not feeling well and report a self-test if they are positive,” he said, adding that a new variant of the Covid-19 virus could also possibly emerge.

“Self-discipline should be emphasised through constant education, especially during the festive season. There will be a lot of gatherings due to the Hari Raya celebrations and we should expect a spike in cases.

“People are euphoric after two years of restrictions. The relaxation should have been given after the festive season,” he said.