PUTRAJAYA – The Ministry of Health (MoH) has recommended that all large-scale events and mass gatherings be postponed following the increase in COVID-19 positive cases.
Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said mass gatherings should be avoided to break the infection chain of the deadly virus in the country.
“If mass gatherings or conferences need to be held, each organiser must ensure that the standard operating procedures (SOP) set are complied with by all parties.
“We are still in the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) period and everyone must comply with the SOP set by the National Security Council,” he told a press conference here Oct 2.
Dr Noor Hisham said there was no recommendation from the ministry to limit activities in the social sector so far, although the daily COVID-19 cases showed an increase.
“We have not yet decided and are monitoring the latest developments. If the case spreads quickly, we will look at follow-up action,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said schools would be closed for two weeks for the decontamination and disinfection processes if there were positive cases of COVID-19 detected among students, teachers and staff.
On the report of the death of a teacher in Sabah due to suspected COVID-19 infection, he said the ministry needed to conduct the Reverse Transcriptase – Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test first to confirm whether the patient died due to COVID-19 or not.
“The patient experienced shortness of breath and died, we have run the RTK Antigen test on him and the result came back positive but it cannot confirm that the patient was positive COVID-19 because the accuracy of this test is only 80-85 per cent.
“We cannot confirm yet because the RT-PCR test needs to be done first. Now we are taking public health action which is to carry out contact tracing and decontamination process,” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham said the MoH and relevant agencies could not fight COVID-19 alone, instead the greater responsibility rested on the shoulders of every individual in the society, regardless of rank, background and status.
“Avoid blaming one another. This social responsibility needs to be shouldered together so that we can break the chain of COVID-19 infection in our country. We have gone through it together before by taking care of ourselves, our families, our community and our country,” he said.
He said the public would be updated with the latest developments on the COVID-19 pandemic through information obtained from the World Health Organisation (WHO).