Malaysia is set to transition from the pandemic to endemic phase of Covid-19 in the coming 2 or 3 weeks, said Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the government is currently waiting for reports on the effects of the December 2021 floods, the Omicron variant of Covid-19, and the return of Malaysians to the country before announcing the transition.
He added that a briefing will be scheduled next week during the next Quartet of Ministers Meeting.
“We will be briefed by the Health Ministry, Foreign Affairs Ministry, and other parties before we present these findings to the Covid-19 Special Task Force, which is chaired by the Prime Minister,” he said, reported Bernama.
He said the postponement in announcing the transition is only temporary and it is important that they do it in an orderly manner.
He added that there are 7 criteria to be met before the country can enter the endemic phase of Covid-19, and they are a single standard operating procedure, a Heightened Alert System (HAS) as well as TRIIS (Test, Report, Isolate, Inform, Seek), and a Find, Test, Trace, Isolate, Support (FTTIS) system.
Other criteria include the gradual reopening of national borders, as well as community empowerment ambassadors.
“The three factors I mentioned earlier are making us slightly cautious about announcing the transition,”
“We are ready to announce the transition but at the end of the day it’s not for me to announce it but for our Prime Minister to announce after it is agreed upon by the Covid-19 Special Task Force,” Hishamuddin said.
When asked about the possible snap election to be called in Johor, Hishammuddin said they would get the views of the Health Ministry before moving forward.
“The people in Johor may ask what is the difference between a state election there compared to the ones held in Melaka and Sarawak if it does happen,” Hishamuddin said.
“Whatever it is, let us wait for a decision if a state election is called in Johor,” he added.
Meanwhile, he said they will use the experiences gained during the state elections in Sabah, Melaka and Sarawak to ensure that the Johor election would run safely and smoothly if it were to be called.