IPOH, June 24 — Malaysians should not feel anxious by the government’s decision to allow large-scale social gatherings from July 1 as the Covid-19 infection rate in the country is under control, Health director general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today.

He said the Health Ministry is now aiming for zero new cases of the coronavirus by the middle of next month and urged the public to continue following the government standard operating procedures so that “life may return to normal” sooner.

“Our life may return to normal with SOPs. We want to see if we can control the transmission of the Covid-19 with these SOPs.

“Until when do we want to sit at home? Therefore, we have allowed activities and life to return to normal, but at the same time the public should adhere to the SOPs,” he said in his Covid-19 briefing in Putrajaya.

He added: “Maybe in the next one month if we follow the SOP and the advice of the Ministry of Health, we might achieve zero new cases. That is our target.”

Dr Noor Hisham exhorted the public to continue practising the one-metre social distancing, wearing face masks when in crowded places, and to wash their hands frequently.

‘If we can follow these standard operating procedures, then we can return to our normal life,” he said.

He also assured the public that the Health Ministry will take appropriate action and close facilities if new clusters were to be found after large-scale social gatherings are allowed.

He said the current number of new cases being reported daily was on the decline, adding that fewer new patients required ventilators, which signify that their cases were less severe.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced earlier today that the government is lifting the 20-person cap for social events including weddings, birthday parties, and religious ceremonies, starting next Wednesday.

However, he said the new limit is at 250 people, and that such events cannot last more than five hours.

He explained such events must not last more than five hours while the capacity of attendees will be capped at 250 people.