Health Ministry in final stages of drawing up SOPs for border reopening - Muhyiddin

22 Feb 2022 04:34pm
National Recovery Council (NRC) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin chairing the NRC meeting at the Finance Ministry, today. - BERNAMA
National Recovery Council (NRC) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin chairing the NRC meeting at the Finance Ministry, today. - BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA - The Health Ministry is in the final stage of preparing the standard operating procedure (SOP) for reopening of the country's borders before presenting it to the Cabinet for approval, said National Recovery Council (NRC) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Expressing hope that the country's borders could be opened fast, the former prime minister said an announcement on this was expected to be made soon.

"To me, the faster it is opened, the better it is for the country's economic recovery. Don't delay. Every single day of delay will cost the country a lot. There is tremendous benefit for Malaysia to open its borders soon," he told a press conference after chairing the NRC meeting here today.

Muhyiddin said tourism, education and healthcare travel were among the sectors badly affected by the border closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said Malaysia had been rather slow in reopening its borders despite being among the 10 most successful countries in implementing the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

He said other countries like Australia had already started opening their borders although their vaccination take-up rates were still lower than Malaysia's.

Muhyiddin said although there was now a rise in Covid-19 positive cases and admissions to hospitals in Malaysia, the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (Pick) and administration of the booster dose had proven effective in protecting the recipients from severe infections.

"The Omicron (variant) is a worldwide problem but in Malaysia, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has explained that they (Health Ministry) could manage it," he added.

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Muhyiddin said that at today's meeting, NRC supported in principle the Langkawi Development Authority's proposal to enhance Langkawi's international travel bubble programme in terms of reduction of screening tests and implementation of the Langkawi-Singapore Vaccinated Travel Lane.

NRC also endorsed a proposal by the British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce on talent development, recruitment and retention in efforts to attract more investments into the country, as it could improve the country's competitiveness and encourage public-private sector cooperation, he said. - BERNAMA