Mass gatherings may be discouraged for 6 months to a year, says health DG

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

PUTRAJAYA: Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah says the ministry is considering discouraging mass gatherings for the next six months to one year due to Covid-19.

He said social practices would change even if the movement control order (MCO) ends on April 14, with social distancing becoming the norm and hand-shaking no longer practised.

“We will look at totally discouraging mass gatherings for the next six months to one year,” he said at a press conference today.

When asked about Ramadan bazaars, Noor Hisham said innovative ideas were needed.

He added that as long as they comply with the ministry’s health standards to prevent mass gatherings, they could be feasible.

“In the first week of the MCO, we saw a 70% increase in food deliveries, so maybe we can create an e-bazaar where food can be delivered to homes,” he said.

Penang became the latest state today to announce a ban on Ramadan bazaars during the upcoming fasting month, following Melaka, Terengganu, Negeri Sembilan and Selangor.

However, Putrajaya has yet to decide whether to allow the month-long food fair.