The Health Ministry has urged the government to not rush in implementing relaxations of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for those who are fully vaccinated.

In a press conference today, Deputy Health director-general Dr Hishamshah Mohd Ibrahim said the country should take a cue from countries which experienced a resurgence in COVID-19 cases after opening up "too early".

"We saw how countries like the United Kingdom and Israel which had opened up early and are now seeing an increase in Covid-19 cases.

"We need to learn from their lessons and not remove restrictions hastily. What we need to ensure first is to vaccinate more people. Also, there must be strict compliance towards SOPs," The Star quoted him saying.

Hishamshah cited the more transmissible variants of the coronavirus which are prevalent now, to make his case.

The ministry's remark comes after Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's announcement yesterday that Putrajaya will announce the relaxation of SOPs for the fully vaccinated in the next few days.

These relaxations could be in the form of leeway in interstate or interdistrict travelling, as well as in the social and sports sector, the premier had said.

As of Wednesday midnight, more than 7.7 million people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while 14.9 million have received their first dose. More than 22.6 million doses of vaccine had been administered worldwide.

Although the government has stepped up the vaccination rate, the country's COVID-19 numbers have also been increasing in a staggering manner.

Yesterday, a record high of 20,596 new COVID-19 cases were recorded, bringing the total number of cases to 1.2 million.

The number of deaths have also breached the 10,000 marks, after 164 new deaths were recorded yesterday.

Source: The Star
Photo source: Malay Mail