No more fist bumping, please

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KUALA LUMPUR: People are advised not to do the fist bump, a popular gesture of greeting these days when meeting someone, so as to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Deputy Health Minister Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali said this form of physical contact between individuals was not encouraged by the ministry.

“(There should be) no ‘salam’ and other forms of body contact, but today I see that the fist bump has not only become a trend but some people even embrace each other,” he said during question time at the Dewan Negara today.

“The ministry prefers placing the hand on the chest and bowing slightly as a respectful gesture of greeting. I urge the people to be careful.”

Senator Lim Pay Hen had earlier asked about the government’s plans, including the appointment of medical officers, in tackling the pandemic as scientists had predicted that it would go on for two more years.

“We will continue to monitor this pandemic as we don’t fully know the disease yet,” said Noor Azmi.

“The weapons we have currently in fighting the disease are the face mask, hand sanitiser and physical distancing.”

He said Malaysia, however, had proved to be among the countries able to manage and control the disease well to the extent of gaining world recognition.

He said the government would redouble its effort in fighting the pandemic.

On the Covid-19 swab test, he said so far, it had only been conducted on individuals with symptoms or who were at high risk, adding that the government had no plans to provide the service for free. However, the test would be provided periodically to school teachers.

“The government has drawn up SOPs for various sub-sectors, including education, hence compliance with the SOPs is important to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in schools,” he said in reply to a question from Senator Robert Lau Hui Yew.