KUALA LUMPUR: The use of face masks in public areas will be made compulsory from Aug 1, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pic).
The Senior Minister (Security) said those who do not comply with the ruling can be fined or prosecuted in court.
He said the government made the ruling following the increase of Covid-19 cases for the past three days and lack of compliance on standard operating procedure (SOP) among the public.
“The Health Ministry reported that 50% of the public do not adhere to the SOP.
“Given the rise of double-digit Covid-19 cases, the government has decided to make it (wearing face masks in public) compulsory,” he told a press conference in Parliament on Thursday (July 23).
“The government refrained from making it compulsory before this because we know that the lower-income group will face financial burden in purchasing face masks. Ideally, the masks should be changed every three hours but one face mask per day is also acceptable.
“However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has ruled that people can make their own face masks but following a strict set of specifications.
“In Malaysia, the Health Ministry will issue the specifications for home-made face masks soon,” he added.
He reminded everyone to comply with the SOP, especially in wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing.
“Even though it is only compulsory to wear face masks in public from Aug 1, the people should start wearing them sooner, especially those travelling in public transport to ‘balik kampung’ for Hari Raya Aidiladha.
“Wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing will assist tremendously in preventing the spread of Covid-19,” Ismail Sabri said.
Asked whether the number of visitors for Hari Raya Aidiladha will be limited, Ismail Sabri said the government has not made such a decision.
“However, if there is a significant spike in cases and the Health Ministry advises as such, we will look into the matter.
“The government’s decision and ruling can change based on the latest development,” he added.
How to Wear Surgical Masks
Following these simple steps will ensure your surgical mask is fitted properly:
1) Place the elastic bands around your ears.
2) Extend the surgical up above the nose and down to the chin. Make sure it fully covers the mouth, nose, and chin.
3) Bend the metallic strip at the top of the mask over nose bridge. The surgical mask should sit snuggly to the face.
4) Avoid touching the surgical mask after putting it on. If you do, wash your hands afterwards.
5) Discard used masks in the garbage and wash your hands.
6) Standard practice is to replace surgical masks after each use. But if supplies are limited, replace masks that are dirty or damaged.
How to remove a face mask
1) Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer before touching the mask.Avoid touching the front of the mask. The front of the mask is contaminated. Only touch the ear loops/ties/band.Follow the instructions below for the type of mask you are using.
2) Face Mask with Ear loops: Hold both of the ear loops and gently lift and remove the mask.
Face Mask with Ties: Untie the bottom bow first then untie the top bow and pull the mask away from you as the ties are loosened.
3) Face Mask with Bands: Lift the bottom strap over your head first then pull the top strap over your head.
Throw the mask in the trash. Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer.