KUALA LUMPUR: The “reopening safely” effort will be the government’s guiding principle to ensure Malaysia’s healthcare capacity remains manageable even as the country’s vaccination numbers are high, says Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

The Defence Minister, on his official Twitter account, said the Covid-19 Ministerial Quartet understood that many countries had begun removing restrictions on a larger scale but the government must be cautious.

“In formulating our exit strategy from #Covid19 and in line with #ReopeningSafely, Malaysia will enter a ‘Transition to Endemic’ phase soon.

“More sectors will be opened, border controls relaxed but safety precautions such as face masks and personal hygiene must be maintained,” he tweeted.

According to Bernama, Hishammuddin said although the Covid-19 cases were now higher than during the Delta wave in August last year, the number of intensive care unit admissions and deaths was 80% to 90% lower.

“We want this #decoupling trend to remain and @KKMPutrajaya (the Health Ministry) will continue to monitor before deciding on any further relaxations,” he said.

On Tuesday, Hishammuddin in an online press conference after chairing the Quartet Meeting, said the Omicron wave would not cause the government to reimplement movement restrictions on a large scale as many Malaysians had completed their vaccination.

He also said the Foreign Ministry and Transport Ministry were looking at potential foreign countries to be included in the list of Vaccinated Travel Lane from time to time.