KUALA LUMPUR: Most Malaysian states are likely to move into phase four or the final phase of the country’s COVID-19 exit strategy by October at the earliest, said Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday (Jul 26).
He was speaking at the special sitting of the House of Representatives or Dewan Rakyat to brief the Members of Parliament on the government’s National Recovery Plan (NRP) to get the country out of the COVID-19 crisis.
“With the continuous efforts to implement the recovery process and immunisation programme, which is currently running smoothly, we expect that most states to transition to phase four of the National Recovery Plan as early as October,” he said.
First announced by Mr Muhyiddin on Jun 15, the national recovery plan outlined three key indicators on how the country can transition from phase one to four.
They are daily COVID-19 cases, intensive care unit occupancy and vaccination rate.
To move to phase four, daily COVID-19 caseload should fall below 500, 60 per cent of Malaysia’s population have received both vaccine doses and the public healthcare capacity is at a safe level with enough ICU beds.
Currently, eight states have moved into phase two of the NRP, namely Perlis, Perak, Pahang, Kelantan, Terengganu, Pulau Pinang, Sabah and Sarawak.
READ: Malaysian parliament meets for first time this year, MPs to seek clarifications on COVID-19 response
On Monday, Mr Muhyiddin said that the national COVID-19 immunisation programme would be further intensified so that the target of 100 per cent of adults receiving full doses of vaccine can be achieved earlier, which is by October.
The government’s original plan was to have 80 per cent of adults fully vaccinated by the first quarter of 2022.
Mr Muhyiddin said the most effective way for the country to get out of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis is to increase the vaccination capacity.
“The government understands that the people are restless and worried when the daily number of COVID-19 cases shows an increase, “ he said.
“The government is trying its best to overcome the crisis we are facing by speeding up the vaccination programme.”
As of Sunday, Malaysia has administered 17 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Over 5.5 million people are fully vaccinated in the country with a population of 32 million.
READ: Malaysia’s total COVID-19 caseload passes 1 million mark
Monday marked the first time Malaysia’s lower house of parliament met after a state of emergency was declared in January.
The five-day sitting began with heated queries from opposition MPs who were unhappy that debate and voting were not allowed during the special session.
According to the order paper, MPs will hear briefings from ministers on the country’s COVID-19 response as well as to ask for clarifications on the measures and plan of action that have been undertaken.
De facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan said at the parliament that Malaysia will not extend the state of emergency beyond Aug 1.
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