For Malaysians, old habits die hard even as mandatory masking, MySejahtera records disappear
Published on: Monday 02 May 2022
By: Yiswaree Palansamy, Kenneth Tee, Malay Mail
Kamal Muhsin and Nadira Anwar are happy that the mask mandate has been relaxed. — Photos by Devan Manuel
Kuala Lumpur: Standard operating procedures requiring face masks outdoors and MySejahtera registrations officially ended yesterday, but many Malaysians have still maintained both practices out of precaution and lingering concern over Covid-19. Despite Malaysia’s high vaccination rate and lowest Covid-19 infection cases, down to a 13-month low of 2,107 cases yesterday, masks continued to be readily visible outside when Malay Mail traveled to popular locations in the city. Malay Mail visited three locations to gauge public sentiment on the relaxed SOPs: Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC), Bangsar and Bukit Bintang.
“It’s quite strange. I was in the car earlier and I was about to take my mask, saying to myself ‘take your mask, don’t forget’. And he asked me, ‘Don’t you remember?’ Nadeera Anwar said while meeting in Bangsar with her partner, Kamal Muhsin. “We feel like we just have to put on makeup now,” Kamal joked. Kamal and Nadeera said they were happy the SOPs had been relaxed, but admitted to feeling peer pressure to continue wearing the masks as most around them still haven’t stopped doing so. “I think it’s just this anxiety. Am I okay? Am I not complying as the majority are still wearing their masks,” Nadeera added, while for Kamal the decision to relax the face masks SOP was overdue. “I think we’re a bit behind other countries. It’s high time (Malaysia has followed suit).
D. Suhashini, who just recovered from Covid-19 more than a month ago, is still hesitant to go out without a mask and prefers to be cautious.
For D. Suhashini, wearing a face mask when going out has become a way of life, especially after contracting Covid-19 more than a month ago. Although she has since recovered, she said Covid-19 “wasn’t so kind to her. [her]”. “So I’m a bit paranoid to be honest, but of course I’ll try to put it on as much as possible, but in case I’m alone, I’ll definitely take it off. “I realized that some people even put their mask in their car, but I’m not that paranoid, but as long as I’m in a public place, I’ll still put it on,” she said. Suhashini added that she had mixed feelings about the government’s decision to recall Covid-19 preventive measures, but understood the need to return to normal over time, and said it was not possible to maintain the requirements in perpetuity.
“It doesn’t make much sense, but it’s just kita jaga kita. If you feel paranoid about it, keep it up,” she said.
Ng Mun Yee says she is not ready to embrace the new mask mandate and prefers to be cautious as she has a child.
Mother-of-one Ng Mun Yee also shared Suhashini’s sentiments, saying that although almost all of her family members have contracted and recovered from Covid-19, vigilance is the way to go. She explained that maintaining precautionary measures was necessary to protect those who remain vulnerable to Covid-19 infection. “For those with children at home, we will definitely wear our masks, especially in crowded places and on public transport. “It’s not just about family, but about the general environment, where if you’re safe, we’re safe. The Covid-19 is still there. I have mixed feelings. Not entirely sure to go without a mask where allowed,” Ng said when she was met at KLCC with her family in tow. On April 27, the government revised its mask mandate and made it optional outdoors but still mandatory in public places indoors. Masks also remained a requirement when using public transport, including email services. Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, however, said the ministry encourages the wearing of face masks as they help reduce the spread of Covid-19, especially for high-risk people such as the elderly and children of under five who still do not have access to vaccines. .
Indran Sankar told Malay Mail that he will assess the external situation he finds himself in before deciding to go without a mask on May 1, 2022.
Indran Sankar was also hesitant to take advantage of the new freedom as he also experienced a symptomatic Covid-19 infection. “The rules are there, but I think people, citizens should know that the face mask is to prevent them from catching Covid-19. Even though freedom was given, I think we should assess things for ourselves. “I still have a feeling of fear,” he said, adding that he was infected during the first wave of Covid-19.
Russian Victor L who has settled in Malaysia for more than two years was a picture of joy on the first day of the eased mask term, May 1, 2022.
Victor L, a Russian who started residing in Malaysia just before the pandemic hit, was a picture of joy alongside his family.
For Victor, the decision to relax the mask mandate has been a long time coming. “It’s fantastic! It’s high time! It’s really nice to be able to go out like this. We like it. I’m happy. In Russia, they removed the mask mandate some time ago,” he said. – he added. Regarding the open-air Ramadan bazaar, a check on one of the bazaars here in Pasar Juadah Padang Perbandaran MPAJ in Pandan Indah, Ampang revealed that customers were allowed to enter the designated compound. without the need to register through MySejahtera.Malay Mail observed that most if not all customers were wearing face masks despite the end of the requirement.Several restaurants in the area are also said to have removed the MySejahtera registration requirement for According to the list of relaxed SOPs that came into effect yesterday, Malaysians also no longer need to scan using the MySejahtera contact tracing app to enter premises. must always check the health status of their visitors to verify if they are not positive for Covid-19, are high-risk individuals or have been issued the Home Monitoring Order (HSO) which is to be refused entry . Khairy also urged members of the public to activate the MySJ Trace feature to enable contact tracing for cases of Covid-19 infection. * Follow us on instagram and join our Telegram and or WhatsApp channel(s) for the latest news you don’t want to miss.
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