Saturday, March 6, 2021

Health ministry warns against fist bumps as Covid-19 fight continues

Deputy Health Minister I Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali says there should be no form of physical contact.

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The health ministry today advised the public to avoid performing fist bumps in order to curb further spread of Covid-19.

Deputy Health Minister I Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali said the popular gesture was not encouraged by the ministry.

“(There should be) no salam (Malay style of greeting with hands together) or other forms of body contact, but today I see that not only has the fist bump become a trend, some people even embrace each other.

“The ministry suggests placing the hand on the chest and bending the head slightly as a respectful gesture of greeting because the current trend is not good and I urge the people to be careful,” he said during the question-and-answer session at the Dewan Negara in Kuala Lumpur today.

Lim Pay Hen had asked about the government’s plans to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, including the appointment of medical officers.

“We will continue to monitor this pandemic as we don’t fully know the disease yet.

“The weapons we currently have to fight the disease are face masks, hand sanitiser and physical distancing,” Noor Azmi said.

He said Malaysia had proven itself able to manage and control the disease, to the extent of gaining global recognition, adding that the government would double its efforts.

On Covid-19 swab tests, he said so far these are only conducted on individuals with symptoms or who are at high risk of contracting the infection.

He added that there are no plans at the moment to provide periodic swab tests free of charge for school teachers.

“The government has developed SOPs in various sub-sectors including education, hence compliance with the SOPs is important to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in schools,” he said in reply to Robert Lau Hui Yew.

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