KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) today clarified that although 20 visitors are allowed at one’s home during Hari Raya celebrations, only family members are permitted to visit.
Health groups have criticised the government for allowing as many as 20 individuals to gather during the upcoming Hari Raya celebrations under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), stating that it is not reassuring in the midst of the battle against Covid-19.
“The issue isn’t 20 people; 20 of those are relatives. If there are 20 people, those are family members. The total number of family members can be 20 persons,” explained Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah at a press conference today.
He further added that the standard operating procedure (SOP) set by the MOH must be followed, emphasising on safe distancing between family members during these visits.
Confined and crowded spaces should be avoided at all times, while proper hand washing with soap and water or hand sanitiser must be done before entering homes.
“If it is a small apartment, then not 20 people. What we can do is staggered appointments or visiting. We are talking about family members, not visitors. Some are 10 people; some are 20 people,“ said Dr Noor Hisham.
“Make sure there is social distancing and that the elderly are protected. That means no hugging and kissing.”
MOH then highlighted the importance of protecting the elderly in the family, which includes parents and grandparents of many, as Malaysian data from Covid-19 infection shows worse outcomes among the elderly population.
“When we see the death cases so far, 50 per cent and above are older than 60 years old. And for those with diabetes, hypertension or other non-communicable disease, they account for 85 per cent of the total death cases,” reported Dr Noor Hisham.
MOH advises against any visits or gatherings during the upcoming Hari Raya celebration if safe distancing cannot be done.