Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has announced that large-scale New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day celebrations will not be allowed as a safeguard against the spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant.
However, Khairy said that small and private gatherings to celebrate Christmas and New Year are allowed, provided that all attendees carry out self-tests beforehand.
In a press conference yesterday (16 December), Khairy also expressed the rising concern over the Omicron variant and the additional measures the Ministry will take, including making booster doses by February a requirement to retain full vaccination status.
Khairy said those aged 60 and above will now be considered as not fully vaccinated from February, regardless of what vaccine they had been given before.
They will only regain their full vaccinated status after they received their booster dose.
Meanwhile, this rule applies the same to those aged 18 and above who had taken Sinovac shots before.
Khairy added that the government will be reopening mega vaccination centres (PPVs) to administer booster shots to ramp up efforts against Omicron.
He also said studies had shown that booster shots is still effective in providing protection against the worst effects of the new variant.
On the other hand, Khairy also disclosed that a second Omicron cast had been detected in the country, involving an 8 year-old Malaysian girl who travelled to Lagos, Nigeria. She was tested negative before her travel.
The girl’s family who travelled along with her were also placed under quarantine.
Khairy then said there are 18 more suspected Omicron cases being run through genomic sequencing to ascertain if they were indeed the new variant.
As for the 18 Covid-19 positive cases suspected to be positive for Omicron, Khairy said the travellers were from various countries and they will receive a confirmation on the variant on Friday (17 December).
Watch the press conference here: