PUTRAJAYA: Eighteen countries have now been classified as high risk countries following the spread of the Omicron variant, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin (pictured). Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Malawi. “The eight countries are now included in the list of high risk countries, bringing the total number to 18,” he told a press conference.
Khairy said the Department of Health (MOH) has advised Malaysians to postpone their travel to these high-risk countries, including the UK, United States of America, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Norway, France, Denmark, India, Canada and Nigeria. Meanwhile, Khairy said the Medical Research Institute (IMR) performed a PCR genotyping test on 366 samples from Covid-19 positive cases among travelers from December 21 to 25. “Of that number, a total of 306 samples indicate possible (presumptive) Omicron variant and are currently awaiting whole genome sequencing results,” he said. At the same time, the Ministry of Health is promoting the use of the MySJ Trace function of the MySejahtera application in public places, public transport, restaurants and shopping centers. Khairy said MySJ Trace uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to detect people who are close contacts of Covid-19 cases.
He said if people who tested positive for the virus agreed to share information with the health ministry, a notification would be sent to let others know that they have become a casual contact. “The information is only contained in your phone. Only if you want to share to give this permission. We do not store information. Otherwise, Apple and Google will not approve this upgrade because they are very picky about personal data, ”he said. Khairy said that for now, the ministry will only encourage the public to use the feature, but has not ruled out the possibility of making it mandatory for entry to the premises if the usage rate is low. . He explained that this feature would help the ministry conduct contact tracing and ensure that the community could coexist with Covid-19 safely and responsibly so that the government does not have to implement drastic measures such as as restrictions to control the spread of Covid- 19. MySJ Trace is a mobile contact tracing feature using a community approach where mobile phone users can exchange information at a distance which allows the identification of a MySJ user Trace who has been in close contact with another user who is positive for Covid-19. Further, Khairy said that a virtual meeting held with several associations such as Malaysian Retail Chain Association, Business Events Council Malaysia, Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers, Malaysia Shopping Malls Association , Prasarana Bhd and the Malaysian Indian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association had agreed to encourage the use of MySJ Trace on their premises. * Follow us on Instagram and join our Telegram and or WhatsApp channel (s) for the latest news you don’t want to miss.
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