By Nik Nayly
GOMBAK, 8 December 2021: The Ministry of Health (MOH) is ensuring sufficient and up-to-date information on COVID-19 to the public, according to Deputy Director-General of Health, Datuk Dr. Hishamshah Mohd Ibrahim.
Speaking at the Communication Research Seminar (CORENA) 2021 on Tuesday (7 December), Dr. Hishamshah hoped the public would not circulate wrong information or disinformation on COVID-19, instead he urged them to spread accurate information provided by MOH.
“We must strengthen the society with the right information on COVID-19 by ensuring the spread of consistent and credible facts and data,” he said.
“In the effort to communicate with the public, specifically to address misinformation on COVID-19, MOH provides data, scientific evidence and accurate message to dispel wrong information on COVID-19.
MOH also uses social media and digital platforms such as Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia or KKM Facebook, Telegram and Instagram to send information quickly to the public on COVID-19.”
Dr. Hishamshah emphasised on trusting MOH for accurate information on COVID-19 as the Malaysian government has proper systems to monitor the statistical data of COVID-19 cases using the digital platform, MySejahtera.
MySejahtera, which is owned and operated by the government of Malaysia, is administrated by the MOH and relies on assistance of the National Security Council (NSC) and the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU).
Hence, Dr. Hishamshah urged the public to ensure that their “MySejahtera is always updated for them to be efficient in taking control measures especially now with the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.”
On another note, Dr. Hishamshah said MOH is serious about public health measures where the Ministry constantly emphasises the importance of taking preventive measures, especially on wearing of face masks in public places.
“We can see in some Western countries, once the vaccination rate has increased, they do not feel the need to wear face masks,” he said.
However, in Malaysia, although “our vaccination rate is quite high, we still emphasise the importance of wearing face masks, the practice of social distancing, and hand washing.”
Taking these preventive measures is for the purpose of cutting down the risk of COVID-19 transmissions, he said.
Dr. Hishamshah pointed out a research that they have been doing on ‘The Public’s Cognitive, Effective and Behavioural Aspect Towards COVID-19 Throughout The Different Phases of the Pandemic.”
Based on information received, he said, initially there was hesitancy in the preventive measures and vaccination. However, over time the public is receptive to the information that has been given out and is positive towards these measures taken by the government.
He said that in terms of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, the acceptance of vaccination has surpassed the government’s initial prediction with 77.9 percent fully vaccinated individuals, and 79.2 percent of individuals with at least one dose of the vaccine, as of 6 December 2021.***
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