Coronavirus: Use ‘Salam Malaysia’ greeting instead of shaking hands, says deputy health minister

Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye also reminded the public to practise good hygiene by regularly washing hands with water and soap or by using hand sanitisers to prevent transmission. ― Picture by Farhan Najib
Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye also reminded the public to practise good hygiene by regularly washing hands with water and soap or by using hand sanitisers to prevent transmission. ― Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, Feb 8 — The public have been advised to use the “Salam Malaysia” gesture by placing one hand over the chest instead of shaking hands when greeting each other as a preventive measure against the 2019 novel coronavirus.

Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said this was because the coronavirus could spread if there is contact with an infected person.

“If an infected person coughs within three feet (0.9 m), there is a possibility that the droplets can transmit the virus.

“If the droplets land on a surface such as tables, lifts and so on, the virus can survive for a few hours, and those who touch that area may get infected,” he told reporters after attending a Thaipusam celebration at the Sri Subramaniar Temple in Gunung Cheroh here today.

Dr Lee, who is also Gopeng MP, also reminded the public to practise good hygiene by regularly washing hands with water and soap or by using hand sanitisers to prevent transmission.

Meanwhile, he said the government had no plan to stop Malaysians from travelling to Singapore in view of the rising number of coronavirus cases recorded in the island state.

“We believe that Singapore can control the cluster. We hope Singapore can control it...if Singapore is unable to do so, the risk of transmission among Malaysians could possibly be high,” he said.

Yesterday, Singapore’s Ministry of Health confirmed three additional cases of coronavirus infection in the republic, bringing the total to 33. — Bernama

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