Malaysia to start treating COVID-19 as ‘endemic’ from the end of October

Aneela SiddiquiWeb Editor

07th Sep, 2021. 01:47 pm

International Trade and Industry Minister of Malaysia, Mohamed Azmin Ali announced Tuesday that the government will begin treating Covid-19 as an endemic disease by the end of October.

When the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the sickness becomes a permanent presence in the region and continues to circulate among people, it is said to be endemic. Influenza, dengue fever, and malaria are among the other endemic diseases.

Malaysia has been battling a daily increase in Covid-19 cases, prompting the authorities to implement numerous rounds of lockdowns. Last month, the country’s central bank lowered its prediction for 2021 economic growth to 3% to 4%, down from 6% to 7.5 percent previously.

“Vaccine affordability and accessibility are key factors in ensuring sustained economic recovery,” the minister told.

However, Malaysia’s economy has remained resilient, by better external demand and ongoing infrastructure projects driving the recovery, according to Azmin, who is also a senior minister in the current government.

According to Azmin, more than 75% of Malaysia’s adult population will be fully vaccinated by the end of October.

According to official data, 88 percent of adults — or about 63 percent of the overall population — have gotten at least one dose of Covid vaccination.

In preparation for a Covid endemic phase, Malaysian Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced last week that the government will simplify some  social-distancing measures in the coming weeks.

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