Covid-19 in Malaysia – What’s the situation now?
The condition of Covid-19 in Malaysia is going back and forth for the past months. The country is recovering at a promising pace. In terms of lockdowns, Malaysia is no longer in need of them. The latest and greatest news in regard to these restrictions is that as of 1 April 2022 last week, restaurants are allowed to be in business 24/7 again. This is huge because it has been almost a year since Malaysia was allowed to do so. One of the biggest factors of this improvement is that Malaysia has administered at least 69 Million doses of Covid vaccines as of today. That means, about 108.1% of Malaysian have been vaccinated.
The situation of Covid-19 in Malaysia back in March 2022 was worrying, but we recovered.
Last month, the condition of Covid-19 in Malaysia was worrying as there was a minor spike in daily new infections and deaths. Malaysia was averaging 25k-30k daily new infections and 70-90 daily deaths. This development was very alarming as Malaysia was averaging significantly less back in January and February; averaging 10k-15k daily new infections and 10-15 daily deaths. Fortunately, as of the end of March, both numbers went down significantly. As of April, the severity of Covid-19 in Malaysia is expected to get back to the numbers we achieved back in January/February, and hopefully, even better onwards.
Government enforcement of face masks with SIRIM certification.
On the 5th of April 2022, the Domestic Trade And Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) announced that all non-medical face masks are required to be SIRIM certified, enforced under the Non-Medical Face Mask Order 2022. Given the improved condition of Covid-19 in Malaysia, people were enraged and skeptical over the sudden and according to public opinion, unnecessary change. Malaysia is healthily transitioning to the endemic phase and the change is assumed to be political by the people.
The ministry stated that the enforcement aims to resolve the issue of ineffective face mask products among the many manufacturers. In addition, companies that are not complying with the new regulations can be fined RM200k, and up to RM500k for subsequent offenses. On the other hand, individuals that are found in using uncertified face masks can be fined RM100k and/or 3 years worth of jail time, up to RM250k and/or 5 years jail time.
Updates on the enforcement of SIRIM certified face masks.
Fortunately, 2 days after the announcement, KPDNHEP announced that the enforcement is now postponed to the 2nd January 2023, instead of the 4th of July 2022. The decision has followed the feedback from Malaysia, worrying about the possibility of price hikes due to the new SIRIM certification requirements. Though later on, Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi explained that the government will make sure that the manufacturers and importers do not use the newly enforcement as a means to jack up the price of face masks. The government gives the ultimatum of letting manufacturers and importers comply with the order, or else the maximum price scheme will be implemented.
In conclusion, Malaysian should be proud and grateful for the country’s progress in fighting off Covid-19 for the past 2 years. We wouldn’t be able to recover from the dire situation of Covid-19 in Malaysia, if not for the efforts of everyone working together. Though we are relatively in a better position than we were a year ago, Malaysian should keep up with the momentum and thrive to continuously recover in the hope of setting a new normal again.
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