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Sunday, September 25, 2022
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Tips to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection during CNY

Chinese New Year is just around the corner. While interstate travel is permitted after achieving a high COVID-19 vaccination rate, Malaysians should be aware that we are still not out of the woods yet especially with the Omicron variant.

Although the number of severe COVID-19 cases and deaths have declined gradually over the past few months, we should not let our guard down.

The Ministry of Health has provided several tips on reducing the risk of infection during the Chinese New Year celebration.

Before visiting relatives, it is recommended that you perform a COVID-19 self-test. These rapid test kits (RTK) are widely available and you can find some kits going for less than RM5. You can buy them at pharmacies, convenience stores, and even eCommerce platforms such as Lazada and Shopee.

Whether you’re having a gathering at home or outside, you can request all attendees to get themself tested before meeting up. Those who are tested positive should report and isolate themselves, and follow the current COVID-19 protocols for isolation.

Limit number of people attending gatherings

If you’re having a gathering, you should consider limiting the number of attendees according to the size of the location. As announced by the National Unity Ministry, house visits and family reunion dinners are permitted under the SOP for Chinese New Year celebrations. There’s no mention of the maximum number of people allowed but such gatherings should be limited to close family members only. However, open houses are strictly not allowed.

Follow existing SOP

If you have relatives from another household, it is recommended to wear a face mask and maintain social distancing during the gathering. Obviously, you would need to take off your mask while eating but it is best to put it back on when you’re done with eating and snacking.

If any individual is feeling unwell, they should avoid joining gatherings even if they have tested negative with the COVID-19 self-test. In fact, anyone having COVID-19 symptoms despite having a negative RTK result is urged to seek medical treatment or go for an RT-PCR test for confirmation.

Maintain good air circulation

Besides following the SOPs, you should also improve ventilation in your home. You can open windows and doors, or use an air purifier. A premise with good air circulation can help to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has posted a Chinese New Year PSA video that’s delivered in Mandarin. He reminds everyone to perform an RTK test before meeting up with relatives and friends, to protect your parents and your family. He hopes the year of the Tiger will be the year we get out of the pandemic.

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