KUALA LUMPUR (March 8): Malaysia will enter the “Transition to Endemic” phase of Covid-19 on April 1, with all restrictions on business operating hours removed and prayer activities allowed without physical distancing.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, in a nationwide address on Tuesday, said the transition to the endemic phase is an exit strategy that would allow Malaysians to return to near-normal life after nearly two years of battling the pandemic.
"This is also a temporary phase before the country moves to the endemic phase, which can only be announced by the World Health Organisation,” said Ismail Sabri.
Under the relaxed Covid-19 rules and standard operating procedures (SOPs) from April 1:
The transition to the endemic stage was originally planned for last year but it was put off following the increase in Covid-19 cases with the spread of the Omicron variant, and also due to the floods in eight states in December.
Ismail Sabri said that while the number of daily Covid-19 cases has increased dramatically amid the spread of the Omicron variant, severe cases (categories 3, 4, and 5 patients) are still low at 0.7%.
He also pointed out that the number of Covid-19 patients requiring intensive care unit treatment and monitoring is also under control, at a rate of 42%.
As of March 7, 98.7% of the country's adult population had received two doses of Covid-19 vaccine, while 64% had received their booster shots.
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