The COVID-19 situation in the country is under control and the Health Ministry is aiming for zero COVID-19 cases by mid-July, provided everyone followed the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the government.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the government therefore, had loosened restrictions with plans to return to normalcy.

"Our life may return to normal with SOPs. We want to see if we can control the transmission of COVID-19 with these SOPs.

"Until when do we want to sit at home? Therefore, we have allowed activities and life to return to normal, but at the same time the public should adhere to the SOPs," the Malay Mail quoted him telling a COVID-19 briefing yesterday.

Therefore, he urged the public to not feel anxious with the government's recent decision to allow social events from July 1 onwards.

"Maybe in the next one month if we follow the SOP and the advice of the Ministry of Health, we might achieve zero new cases. That is our target," he said, citing the number of new COVID-19 cases, which was consistently on the decline.

Noor Hisham urged the public to continue practising social distancing, wearing face masks in public, and wash their hands frequently.

Yesterday, senior minister (security cluster) Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the government will allow social events, such as birthday parties, and wedding receptions to be held, from July 1.

However, the number of attendance will be capped at a maximum of 250 people, and the events cannot last for more than five hours.

Social distancing measures must also be observed and the details of attendees must be taken down at the venue, to allow contact tracing in case of a breakout.

As of yesterday, COVID-19 has infected 8,596 people in Malaysia, and killed 121.

The global infection and death tally continues to rise beyond 9.5 million and 484,000, respectively.