Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has announced that the MySejahtera app will be reactivated starting 27 May in light of growing concerns surrounding the monkeypox virus.
In a press conference yesterday (26 May), Khairy said travellers coming from countries with reported monkeypox cases will be sent an alert on the MySejahtera app.
“As of Friday (27 May), the MySejahtera app will be updated so that passengers coming from countries where monkeypox is endemic and isn’t, will receive an alert,” said Khairy.
He said that these travellers will be reminded to monitor for symptoms for 21 days as the incubation period for monkeypox was up to three weeks.
Meanwhile, he said Malaysia has not recorded any monkeypox cases but the authorities will take precautionary measures to prevent an outbreak. In addition, he said the Health Ministry (KKM) will increase its diagnostic capabilities to screen for monkeypox using a PCR test.
“We will expand our capacity and our ability to test for monkeypox using PCR and other molecular testing,” he said.
At the same time, he said KKM has instructed public and private hospitals, as well as clinics to be ready to detect monkeypox cases. He added that hospitals should also prepare isolation wards to treat patients with monkeypox.
Khairy also said that KKM is preparing vaccination strategies for close contacts and health workers in the event of a monkeypox outbreak in Malaysia. However, he said that there are no plans to conduct a mass immunisation program for monkeypox.
“We will vaccinate those with close contacts and also health workers attending to patients with monkeypox. For now, there are no plans for mass vaccination,” he explained.
Khairy also said the ministry wants to educate the public about monkeypox symptoms and what behavioural changes they can perform to reduce the risk of transmission.
Among the symptoms of monkeypox were acute rashes, fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, muscle and body aches, back pain and profound weakness.
In the worst-case scenario where there is a monkeypox outbreak, Khairy said the MySejahtera’s Home Surveillance Order (HSO) SOP for Covid-19 would be replicated.