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Malaysian health director-general praises Taiwan as epidemic savvy country

Malaysia’s top health official says coronavirus will not disappear, urges Malaysians to respect social distancing guidelines

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Malaysian Health Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah.

Malaysian Health Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Malaysian Health Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah on Monday (May 4) praised the Taiwanese for their self-discipline in following social distancing guidelines.

During a daily press conference on pandemic prevention, Noor Hisham listed Taiwan and South Korea as examples of countries that have successfully contained the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) without implementing a movement control order (MCO). He stressed that both the Taiwanese and South Koreans had the willpower to comply with their government's SOP (standard operating procedure) and understood how to protect themselves, reported Liberty Times.

As the Malaysian government relaxed its partial shutdown Monday to ease the financial burden dealt by strict movement controls, the country's health director-general said he understood the public's concerns about a possible second wave of COVID-19 infections. However, he emphasized that the coronavirus would most likely not disappear from the world, thus the Malaysian citizens should continue respecting social distancing rules and wash their hands diligently to "break the infection chain," according to UDN.

Noor Hisham said he hoped Malaysians would adhere to the government SOP and wear face masks in public and crowded places. He also noted that the mask-wearing policy was "not compulsory," but "strongly encouraged."

As of Tuesday morning, Malaysia has recorded 6,353 coronavirus infections, including 105 deaths. Of the confirmed patients, 4,484 have been released from hospital isolation.