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Covid-19 surge triggers return of face masks
Published on: Wednesday, December 20, 2023
By: Chia Wan Rou, FMT
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Covid-19 surge triggers return of face masks
Covid-19 infections in the country went up this month, with last week recording a 62.2% increase to 20,696 cases.
PETALING JAYA: The recent surge in Covid-19 cases nationwide appears to have prompted the public to adopt precautionary measures, including the use of face masks once more.

Several people who spoke to FMT said the government should reintroduce the mandatory use of face masks, especially in crowded public areas, healthcare facilities, and schools.

Armin Azam, a private sector employee, said many were unlikely to wear masks unless it was made mandatory.

“Now, wherever you go, many people don’t wear face masks,” the 48-year-old added.

“It’s even worse when some colleagues stubbornly refuse to wear face masks despite showing Covid-19 symptoms.”

A 72-year-old retiree who asked to be known as Brian meanwhile said there was no need to point fingers as wearing face masks was currently a matter of personal choice.

“However, I still hope that those who have contracted Covid-19 wear face masks. Perhaps their symptoms are not so severe, but it doesn’t mean others will also have mild symptoms,” he said.

University student Ganesh said the increasing number of people becoming infected with Covid-19 signalled a need to begin wearing face masks once more.

“Honestly, I was relieved to stop wearing face masks since the government no longer enforced it. But with more people getting infected with Covid-19, I have to adjust and wear them again,” the 22-year-old said.

However, he added that this “should be enough”.

“There’s no need to panic too much,” he said.

Homemaker Lee Su Pei recalled experiencing severe symptoms during her last bout of Covid-19.

“I had difficulty breathing at that time. So, whether the cases rise or not, I will continue to wear face masks. I am used to it. It’s better to prevent it than regret later,” Lee, 35, said.

Covid-19 infections in the country went up this month, with last week recording a 62.2% increase to 20,696 cases.

At a press conference on Tuesday however, health minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said the situation was still under control, and there was no need for movement restrictions for now.

Dzulkefly advised the public to undergo testing if they experience symptoms and to consult doctors for antiviral treatment, if eligible. The public is also recommended to wear masks in crowded places and practise good hygiene.

Yesterday, transport minister Loke Siew Fook also encouraged the public to wear face masks when using public transportation.

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