Omicron uncertainty leads to delay on endemic phase transition

By Marissa Nazeera

PUTRAJAYA, 1 December 2021: The government has decided to delay the country’s transition into the endemic phase as there is too much uncertainty regarding the recent spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said.

According to him, the decision was made during yesterday’s (30 November) Quartet Ministerial Meeting, saying the government wanted to learn more about the new COVID-19’s Omicron variant.

Following this, he said the government would impose stricter international border controls on countries that have reported cases related to the spread of the Omicron variant.

“The Health Ministry will make the necessary announcement on this soon.”

“The government takes note that this variant has not only spread in South Africa but also several countries including Italy, Denmark, Australia, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Hong Kong.

“We also understand that the Omicron variant is indeed risky as it can spread more easily and quickly although it can still be detected through existing laboratory tests,” he said.

Health Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin had earlier said that the government has identified those travelling from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe are not allowed to enter Malaysia at the moment.

Those with a travel history to the seven countries stated within the last 14 days are not allowed to enter Malaysia too. However, exceptions are made for Malaysians and permanent residents who returned to Malaysia after visits to these destinations by undergoing a mandatory 14-day quarantine. ***

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