KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) will introduce new Covid-19 contact tracing technology in preparation for entering the endemic phase from the end of next month.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin stressed that Malaysia would not suddenly enter the next stage of living with Covid-19 indefinitely at the end of October, but begin transitioning slowly.
“We will also introduce a new contact tracing technology at the end of this month that will assist us in tracing close contacts,” Khairy said in a press conference today.
Besides that, MOH also discussed with the Ministry of Education (MOE) to improve Covid-19 testing strategies in schools, as schools in states under Phase Three of the National Recovery Plan will be opened on October 3.
“Just now in our discussion with MOE, part of the new public health measures for schools will be testing, not just vaccinating but also testing.”
Khairy, who explained the immediate public health measures that will be introduced by MOH, said that people should also be responsible enough to ensure their wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I think as far as public health measures are concerned, we have to educate people to take responsibility for their own status.
“So I think when we get towards the mitigation stage now, you have to look after your own status. Symptomatic cases — especially when you develop symptoms — test quickly and isolate yourself.”
Public health experts earlier had mentioned that vaccination rates alone should not be the sole indicator for the country to shift into an endemic phase, but that other indicators like Covid-19 incidence rate, hospital admissions, fatality rate, and the rate of vaccine breakthrough cases in states and districts levels should be considered in parallel.
They also told CodeBlue that it was too early for the government to declare a Covid-19 endemic phase amid daily infections and fatalities still running high.