Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Negeri Sembilan now one step from full recovery phase

PM Ismail Sabri urges Malaysians to prepare to live with Covid-19 as the country shifts to the endemic phase.

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Putrajaya today announced that Negeri Sembilan will be graduating to the third phase of the government’s post-Covid recovery plan, as Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob urged Malaysians to embrace a behavioural change to live with the virus.

Ismail said the government today also agreed for Melaka to shift to the second phase of the recovery plan, starting this Saturday.

“The people and the Malaysian Family need to be prepared to live with Covid-19 as an endemic when the vaccination programme is expected to be completed after October.

“As such, the health ministry is requested to present new suitable strategies on the pandemic and endemic, besides the SOPs,” Ismail said.

There are four phases in the government’s recovery plan for Covid-19 which allow for progressively more reopening of the economic and social sectors.

Kedah, Johor, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya are currently in Phase One.

Kelantan, Pahang, Terengganu, Sabah, Perak and Penang are in Phase Two, to be joined by Melaka.

Perlis and Sarawak are in Phase Three, to be joined by Negeri Sembilan, while Labuan is the only area in Phase Four.

Ismail also announced that the daily meetings by top officials, to be called the Special Conference on Managing the Covid-19 Pandemic, would include representatives from opposition parties.

“This approach is part of the collective effort to involve all stakeholders to ensure the country’s recovery as planned, in line with the spirit of the Malaysian Family,” Ismail said, using a tagline introduced in his maiden speech as prime minister.

Lower infectivity

Meanwhile, Ismail expressed relief that the country’s R-naught value had dropped to below 1.0 for the first time in months.

R-naught refers to the number of people to whom an infected person could transmit the virus.

Based on data projections by the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee, he said the average rate of vaccination for each state is expected to hit 80% of the adult population by the end of September.

“I believe we will achieve a vaccination rate of 100% by the end of October, giving protection to the Malaysian Family,” he said.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said yesterday that the endemic phase of Covid-19 is expected to occur by the end of October.

He said Covid-19 would be managed like any other endemic disease, and that his ministry was preparing a road map for the country’s transition to the new normal, including simplified SOPs.

Ismail meanwhile said today’s meeting had also agreed to reopen the travel sector in several destinations under the travel bubble programme, based on set conditions.

He said Langkawi would reopen to domestic tourists on Sept 16 as a pilot project.

“Other tourism destinations will be allowed to operate after the vaccination rate in the locality reaches 80%,” he said.

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