PETALING JAYA: The health ministry will conduct a review of the ongoing “transition to endemic” phase of Covid-19, with the declaration of Malaysia as an infected area set to expire on June 30, 2023.
Health minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said guidelines provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the current number of Covid-19 cases in the country would be taken into account, according to Astro Awani.
“Currently, our country has not entered the endemic phase of Covid-19 yet. We are still in the transition to an endemic phase.
“Although WHO has announced that Covid-19 is no longer categorised as a global health emergency, we still observe slight increases in cases, such as during festive celebrations, for example,” she said.
Zaliha maintained that these surges in infections were manageable.
She added that the country’s Covid-19 phase would be reviewed in the middle of June.
Current rules on Covid-19 are enforced through a declaration of Malaysia as an infected area under the Prevention of Infectious Diseases Act.
The declaration has been extended several times since March 2020 and is currently valid for the period from Jan 1 to June 30.
Malaysia entered the “transition to endemic” phase of Covid-19 on April 1, 2022.
This eventually saw the lifting of various restrictions, such as limits to operating hours of businesses and the wearing of face masks in public.
On May 5, WHO announced that Covid-19 no longer represented a global health emergency.
In response, Zaliha had said her ministry would carry out a risk assessment of the Covid-19 situation in the middle of June and review existing rules for controlling the pandemic.
Existing Covid-19 prevention and control measures would remain in place until the review is completed, she had said.