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Healthcare frontliners may be given Raya leave in rotation, says DG Hisham

CORONAVIRUS | Ministry of Health (MOH) frontliners in facing Covid-19 pandemic would be allowed to go for Hari Raya Aidilfitri leave in stages, its director-general said today.

Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said this is based on the current trend of new cases, which only record double-digit increase a day.

However, according to him, leave approval would still be subject to changes in the outbreak situation.

"We are looking at the current situation. Every day we monitor the daily number of cases and see the trend.

"As we see now the trend is double-digit, and we are hoping that it would stay that way. So, we will see how the healthcare workers and MOH staff can be given leave in rotation like what had been the practice in our hospital and clinics before this," he said at a press conference in Putrajaya.

Noor Hisham was responding to a reporter's question whether MOH would now allow its frontliners to go on Raya leave as they continue to record a low number of new positive cases every day.

"But, we want to emphasise that the conditional movement control order (MCO) was started on May 4, and we expect that only by May 18 that we can see if there is an increase or decrease in the number of cases.

"So, we will see daily. The decision whether MOH staff can be allowed to go on leave would still depend on these daily figures," he added.

As of noon today, MOH recorded 40 new positive cases, of which 31 were detected among foreigners. This brought the number of cumulative cases up to 6,819.

The number of new cases had been kept within the double-digit for close to a month now, since April 16 where MOH recorded 110 new cases.

Meanwhile, on the capacity of Covid-19 detection testing, Noor Hisham informed reporters that they now have a total of 45 laboratories that are capable of processing 26,673 samples a day.

However, to a question whether MOH would be embarking on mass testing activity, he said that the ministry would continue with its targeted approach.

Noor Hisham said currently, MOH has eight target groups for its testing activities, namely the Sri Petaling tabligh gathering group, tahfiz and madrasah school groups, localities under enhanced MCO and active infection clusters, wet markets, senior citizens, foreign workers, healthcare workers and Malaysians who return from overseas.

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