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MoH: Avoid Hari Raya visits this year to contain Covid-19 spread

KUALA LUMPUR (May 15): The Ministry of Health (MoH) is advising Malaysians, who celebrate the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri, to avoid visiting each other, as an initiative to contain the spread of Covid-19.

MoH’s director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said Malaysians may consider having a self-imposed curfew at their own homes to avoid large numbers of visitors except for immediate families and close relatives during Hari Raya which the first day falls on May 24.

"We would like to advocate the public to have a homely closed-door Hari Raya. This is unprecedented but at least we can protect our families," said Noor Hisham at today’s daily Covid-19 briefing.

He advised the public to have as few visitors as possible to their homes during the upcoming festive period that lasts for a month as an initiative to contain the spread of Covid-19.

He also cautioned that for any family members coming back from red zone areas, precautions are necessary. “You need to protect the elderly, you need to protect the disabled, and those who have co-morbidities," Noor Hisham commented.

Hari Raya visiting has caught the attention following the news that Saudi Arabia was reported to be enforcing a countrywide 24-hour curfew for five days during the Aidilfitri holidays due to Covid-19.

It was reported that a full lockdown will be imposed from May 23 to 27 after the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, the Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

On this, Noor Hisham said Saudi Arabia had a higher incidence of Covid-19 in their country compared to Malaysia, which led the kingdom to make such a drastic decision to curb the spread of the virus.

There are 46,869 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Saudi Arabia, with 19,051 patients recovered and 283 cases of deaths.

For Malaysia, Noor Hisham called for a bottom-up approach rather than top-down. He reiterated that the public must take it upon themselves to avoid the three Cs and practise the three Ws as recommended by the MoH in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The three Cs are avoiding crowded places, confined space and close conversations. Meanwhile, the three Ws are regularly washing your hands, wearing face masks in public or if having symptoms, and following warnings by the MoH.

"This is a very unique and unprecedented Hari Raya. But we all have to play a part. If we all play a part, rest assured, we can actually break the transmission of Covid-19 in this country," Noor Hisham added.

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