Health D-G: Don’t “Balik Kampung” This Ramadan

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The Health Ministry today cautioned Malaysians against “balik kampung” (returning to their hometowns) during the month of Ramadan for fear it could spark new Covid-19 clusters.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said taking lessons from the new Pengerang cluster and the Rembau sub-cluster, the public is asked to remain in compliance with the Movement Control Order (MCO) and refrain from visiting their families or friends.

These, he said, include trips across states, districts and towns (mukim) to attend large gatherings, including religious events and festivals.


The Health Ministry, he said, is concerned that such activities, which have become a norm for Malaysians, will lead to the spread of Covid-19 among family members especially to the elderly and children.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has a profound impact globally on our day to day lives, practises and norms.

“These include changes to religious practises and cultural traditions such as our culture of visiting relatives and friends, attending religious gatherings and celebrations which are among the unique identities of this multicultural society we live in.

“The tradition and practice (amalan ibadat) during the month of Ramadan for Muslims around the world will also be affected as many countries are implementing movement and border controls to curb the spread of Covid-19,” he said at a press conference today.

Dr Noor Hisham said Muslims in the country are urged to take advantage of the Ramadan month to carry out religious activities and prayers such as preparations to break fast and “solat berjemaah” with their families at their respective homes.

He said preventive measures should also be taken to protect family members, especially the elderly and children from Covid-19.

People are also advised to maintain a social distance of at least one meter away from each other and maintain good personal hygiene practise such as washing their hands frequently with water and soap. – NST