After repeated surges in coronavirus cases, Malaysia has decided that it will no longer use daily infections as a metric to ease Covid restrictions.

The news has come as the country is planning to initiate the second phase of the national recovery plan. From now on, the government will use the Covid hospitalisation rates as one of the three indicators to help state governments decide on whether or not to move to the final phase of the recovery plan.

“Once 40% of adults have been vaccinated, the number of new cases becomes less relevant because most cases show little to no symptoms, hence reducing the burden on public infrastructure,” Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said.

The announcement came on the same day when Malaysia reported 19,819 new infections. Although out of these new cases, 98.1 per cent of the patients showed less or no symptoms, the experts are urging caution as they believe Covid patients can show low immunity later, Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian government is trying to increase the speed of the vaccine programme and is urging locals to get vaccinated as soon as possible. As of now, nearly 31 per cent of the adult population has been fully vaccinated and 62 per cent of people have received at least the first dose of the Covid vaccine.

If all goes according to the set plan, the Malaysian government will allow all economic activities to reopen without restrictions, except the ones on the negative list.

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